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Denmark picks F-35 for 27-aircraft deal

Denmark’s government and defence ministry have recommended the selection of the Lockheed Martin F-35 as the nation’s future combat aircraft, following an evaluation involving the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon.

Announced by prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and defence minister Peter Christensen on 12 May, the proposal to acquire 27 conventional take-off and landing F-35As comes after a panel of experts ranked the type first in all criteria.

The US type “will entail the greatest potential for promoting Danish interests, in terms of both security policy and military strategy”, and “provide the highest degree of flexibility at the political level with regards to future tasks”, the defence ministry states.

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During the assessment, the Typhoon was ranked second – but most expensive – and the Boeing candidate third. A summary document notes: “the small group of Super Hornet users and the geographical location of those users far from Denmark’s neighbouring areas have been contributing factors”.

As a long-term international partner on the F-35 project, the European nation had previously projected a potential buy as being for 30 units. However the defence ministry says the new figure of 27 reflects economic challenges being faced by the nation. If completed, an acquisition would replace its Lockheed F-16AM/BMs.

Noting that Copenhagen’s proposed selection will be debated in parliament within a month, Lockheed says the downselect decision “positions Danish industry to capture long-term work throughout the life of the programme.”

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