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RAF Marham

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RAF Marham.

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RAF Marham.

RAF Marham is located south-east of King's Lynn in Norfolk. It is home to the new fifth-generation F-35B Lightning stealth aircraft which began arriving in 2018.

The Squadrons include the famous 617 (Dambusters) Squadron, 207 Squadron Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), and 809 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), which are jointly operated by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm.

The Station is also home to a range of engineering support functions from maintenance to frontline support. Over 3600 Service Personnel, civil servants and contractors work at RAF Marham.

RAF Marham Satellite View

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Scanner Frequencies

RAF Marham Scanner Frequencies
CAC (Swanwick Mil) - 259.600
Approach - 343.975, *362.300
LARS (Zone) - 378.700, 124.150
Radar (Director) - 357.000, 124.150
PAR - 232.150, 356.150, *123.300
Tower - 278.175, 118.325, *257.800, *122.100
Ground - 360.400
OPS - 377.650
ATIS - 245.675
*= NATO Common Frequency

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Aircraft & Squadrons
RAF Marham is home to the fifth generation Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning operated by 617 (The Dambusters) Squadron. 207 Squadron became the second Lightning squadron to be based at RAF Marham when it reformed on 1 August 2019 as the F-35 Operational Conversion Unit, teaching pilots to operate the F-35B. In December 2023, 809 Naval Air Squadron (Phoenix Squadron) was the second front-line squadron to be stood up at RAF Marham.

The Station is also home to a range of engineering support functions from maintenance to frontline support. Over 3600 Service Personnel, civil servants and contractors work at RAF Marham.

The RAF Marham Aero Club are based at RAF Marham operating the Cessna 150.

RAF Marham had previously been home to several Squadrons of Tornados which were all finally disbanded on 14th March 2019.

617 Squadron - F-35B Lightning.
809 Naval Air Squadron - F-35B Lightning.
207 (OCU) Squadron - F-35B Lightning.

RAF Marham was opened in 1916 and was a military night landing ground. The aerodrome was later handed over to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC).

It was closed in 1919 until 1935 when work on a new airfield started and it became active in 1937 with a resident heavy bomber unit from 3 Group, RAF Bomber Command. Aircraft included the Fairey Hendon bomber, Handley Page Harrow, and Wellingtons. In 1941, the Wellingtons moved out and Mosquitos arrived which became part of the Pathfinder force. In 1944, RAF Marham closed while new concrete runways, perimeter track, and dispersal areas were built.

After the Second World War, RAF Marham operated the Boeing Washington aircraft, and later the Vickers Valiant & Handley Page Victor (V Bombers). The station was large enough for the operation of USAF Boeing B-52 aircraft which visited in the 1970s and 1980s for exercises.

Twenty four Hardened Aircraft Shelters were constructed to house the Tornado which arrived in 1982. Each shelter was able to store four WE.177 nuclear bombs.

The new F-35B 'Lightning II' fleet will be based at RAF Marham from 2018 and the base is currently undergoing enhanced infrastructure to support these aircraft. The F-35B will be operated by 617 Squadron RAF, 809 Naval Air Squadron (Fleet Air Arm), an unnamed RAF Squadron, an unnamed Naval Air Squadron, 207 OCU Squadron RAF, and 17 Squadron RAF (Operation and Evaluation, currently based at Edwards AFB, USA). RAF Marham will have a mix of Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel, and both will deploy aboard the new Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

In the Summer of 2018, F-35s and personnel of 617 Squadron arrived at RAF Marham. After an intense phase of training they were able to declare a land-based Initial Operational Capability by January 2019. The Lightning OCU, 207 Squadron followed and occupy new buildings adjacent to the new Dambusters facilities at the Norfolk base in due course. In the UK, 207 (OCU) Squadron will initially operate five to six aircraft and within about two years have a full complement of eight F-35Bs.

With no two-seat F-35s the training of pilots is heavily reliant upon simulators. Fortunately, the F-35 Full Mission Simulator allows you to train everything from the most basic skills, all the way up to teaching and assessing students in tactical formations against potent enemy threats.

Tornado Farewell
The RAF Tornado was withdrawn from service on 31st March 2019, and brought to an end four decades of service, during which the aircraft has formed the backbone of UK airpower. RAF Tornados returned home from Operations for the last time on 5th February 2019. Their last operational sortie took place from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus on Thursday 31st January. This marked the end of over 28 years almost continual Operational deployment for the Tornado Force.

Three training variants of the Tornado received special markings including a camouflage scheme which the Tornado sported in its early career. These three Tornados took off from RAF Marham, on Wednesday 23rd january 2019, and refuelled over the North Sea before being photographed via a fourth RAF Tornado and then returning back to Marham. For more information and photographs then click here.

There was also a Tornado Farewell Flypast over three days on Tuesday 19th February 2019, Wednesday 20th February 2019, and Thursday 21st February 2019, as well as a nine-ship Tornado flypast on Thursday 28th February 2019. Details including Flypast times, NOTAMS and a map of the route for each day can be found here.

RAF Tornado Farewell Flypasts.


F-35B Lightning.F-35B Lightning.

F-35B Lightning.F-35B Lightning.

RAF Typhoon.RAF Tornado GR4 - Andy Court.

Royal Air Force Official Calendar

F-35B Lightning.F-35B Lightning.

F-35B Lightning.F-35B Lightning.

F-35B Lightning & Tornado GR4.F-35B Lightning & Tornado GR4.

UK F-35B Lightnings at RAF Marham
In April 2018, 617 Squadron was reformed to fly the new Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning aircraft. Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson announced the reformed squadron at an event in Washington DC to mark the centenary of the RAF. 207 Squadron became the second Lightning squadron to be based at RAF Marham when it reformed on 1 August 2019 as the F-35 Operational Conversion Unit, teaching pilots to operate the F-35B. 809 Naval Air Squadron was reformed in 2023 at RAF Marham operating the F-35B.

The following F-35B aircraft have arrived at RAF Marham (as of March 2024):
June 2018 - ZM145, ZM146, ZM147, ZM148.
Aug 2018 - ZM140, ZM141, ZM142, ZM143, ZM144.
July 2019 - ZM137, ZM139, ZM149, ZM150, ZM151, ZM152.
Nov 2020 - ZM153, ZM154, ZM155.
Oct 2021 - ZM156, ZM157, ZM158.
Mar 2022 - ZM159, ZM160, ZM161.
Nov 2022 - ZM162, ZM163, ZM164.
June 2023 - ZM166, ZM167.
March 2024 - ZM168, ZM169.
There are also four UK F-35B aircraft (ZM135, ZM136, ZM138, ZM165) used for Test & Evaluation, which are based at Edwards AFB, in the USA. Unfortunately ZM152 was lost during its deployment onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, on 17th November 2021, but thankfully the pilot was okay.

UK F-35B Lightning aircraft info.

UK F-35B Lightning Squadrons
The F-35B Lightnings are pooled between 617 squadron, 207(OCU) Squadron & 809 Naval Air Squadron at RAF Marham. 17 Reserve Squadron is based at Edwards AFB in the USA with 4 aircraft (ZM135, ZM136, ZM138 & ZM165) which are used for operational test and evaluation.

Current UK F-35B Lightning Aircraft (as of March 2024)
BK-01 - ZM135 - 17 Sqn - Test & Eval. (Edwards AFB)
BK-02 - ZM136 - 17 Sqn - Test & Eval. (Edwards AFB)
BK-03 - ZM137 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 16.7.19
BK-04 - ZM138 - 17 Sqn - Test & Eval. (Edwards AFB)
BK-05 - ZM139 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 16.7.19
BK-06 - ZM140 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 03.08.18
BK-07 - ZM141 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 03.08.18
BK-08 - ZM142 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 03.08.18
BK-09 - ZM143 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 03.08.18
BK-10 - ZM144 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 03.08.18
BK-11 - ZM145 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 06.06.18
BK-12 - ZM146 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 06.06.18
BK-13 - ZM147 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 06.06.18
BK-14 - ZM148 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 06.06.18
BK-15 - ZM149 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 16.07.19
BK-16 - ZM150 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 16.07.19
BK-17 - ZM151 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 16.07.19
BK-18 - ZM152 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 16.7.19 Lost.
BK-19 - ZM153 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 30.11.20
BK-20 - ZM154 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 30.11.20
BK-21 - ZM155 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 30.11.20
BK-22 - ZM156 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 28.10.21
BK-23 - ZM157 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 28.10.21
BK-24 - ZM158 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 28.10.21
BK-25 - ZM159 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 03.03.22
BK-26 - ZM160 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 03.03.22
BK-27 - ZM161 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 03.03.22
BK-28 - ZM162 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 18.11.22
BK-29 - ZM163 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 18.11.22
BK-30 - ZM164 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 18.11.22
BK-31 - ZM165 - 17 Sqn - Test & Eval. (Edwards AFB)
BK-32 - ZM166 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 22.06.23
BK-33 - ZM167 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 22.06.23
BK-34 - ZM168 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 16.03.23
BK-35 - ZM169 - (RAF Marham) - Arrived 16.03.23
One aircraft was lost when deployed on HMS Queen Elizabeth (ZM152 on 17.11.21).

USMC F-35B Lightning deployment to RAF Marham
Ten USMC F-35Bs (VMFA-211 Squadron) based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, arrived at RAF Marham in early September 2020. They worked alongside Marham's 617 Squadron F-35Bs ahead of a Group Exercise in September 2020 where they embarked onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth to take part in Exercise Joint Warrior..

617 Sqn F-35B Aircraft deploy to Indo-Pacific onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth
Eight UK F-35B Lightning (617 Sqn 'The Dambusters', Marham) aircraft joined ten USMC F-35B Lightning (VMFA-211 Sqn 'Wake Island Avengers') onboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier along with fourteen Merlin & Wildcat helicopters. The Aircraft Carrier and her Strike Group set off from Portsmouth at dusk on Saturday 22nd May 2021 on her maiden operational deployment to the Indo-Pacific region. HMS Queen Elizabeth returned home on the 9th December 2021. More info here.