Danish and American officials celebrated the roll-out of the first F-35A Lightning II for the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. This major F-35 program milestone strengthens national defence and global partnerships between the United States, Denmark and other F-35 partner and buying nations.
"The security situation around the world is increasingly complex," said Trine Bramsen, Danish Minister of Defence. "Being able to defend yourself and your allies is crucial. For peace. For stability. For freedom and democracy. With the new F-35 fighter jets we will increase our ability to protect Denmark. Our region. And wherever necessary as we have done before - side by side with the US. and other allies. The F-35s will be at the absolute centre for the Danish Defence. in the coming decades."
Like the F-16 before it, the F-35 is spearheading NATO's air power and ensuring strategic integration of allied combat air-power. The vital interoperability of the 5th Generation F-35 binds 13 allies and partners with the United States in air dominance and enabling critical joint capabilities. The F-35 will serve as a force multiplier for Denmark, allowing the Royal Danish Air Force to train and fight alongside NATO allies and create a strong deterrent.
"The F-35 will ensure Denmark's sovereignty and air dominance, enhance its multi-domain and network-based coalition operations, and play a pivotal role in keeping the Arctic a secure and stable region," said Greg Ulmer, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "This game-changing capability would not be possible without the unwavering support of the Danish government and the innovative contributions of Danish industry."
Danish industry serves as a critical partner with the F-35 Lightning II program through high technology work, ensuring competitiveness and defence industry viability in Denmark. Two Danish companies, Terma A/S and Multicut A/S, are currently making parts such as pylons, advanced composites, software solutions, radar components and horizontal tail edges for every F-35 delivered.
Denmark's F-35 program of record calls for 27 F-35A aircraft, each of which will be built at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth. The first aircraft will be delivered to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, later this month where Danish pilots and maintainers will begin training.
With stealth technology, supersonic speed, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and increased range, the F-35 is the most advanced, survivable and connected aircraft in the world. More than a fighter jet, the F-35's ability to collect, analyse and share data, is a powerful force multiplier that enhances all airborne, surface and ground-based assets in the battle-space enabling men and women in uniform to execute their mission and return home safely. To date, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 625 F-35s, trained more than 1,300 pilots and 10,380 maintainers, and the F-35 fleet has flown nearly 370,000 cumulative flight hours.
Denmark joined the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in 2002 during the System Development and Demonstration phase and has influenced technical elements of the F-35. In October 2008, they delivered a Danish F-16 to the JSF 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB as part of the RDAF’s partnership with the F35 program and the F-16 served as a chase plane for the F-35 Development, Test & Evaluation program through Dec. 2016.
Lockheed Martin and the Danish Armed Forces have enjoyed a successful partnership since the early 1950s, with the T-33 Shooting Star, F-104 Starfighter, C-130 Hercules and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Denmark is an essential partner in F-35 production, development and sustainment activities and today is building parts and components for the projected 3,100+ aircraft to be manufactured.