As Denmark prepares to select a fighter jet to replace its aging F-16s, Lockheed Martin and Terma have signed an agreement that secures the Danish firm’s continued participation on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme so long as the Lightning II is downselected.

The Danish government has received its final fighter offers – the Lockheed F-35, Boeing F/A-18 and Eurofighter Typhoon – and a selection decision is expected shortly after this month’s election.

Terma has received $300 million in F-35 business since joining the programme as a supplier in 2000, providing composite and bonded structures for the centre fuselage and horizontal tails plus gun pods and electronic components for the three-dimensional radar.

The June 15 memorandum of understanding between Lockheed and Terma secures “work for the F-35 beyond Lot 11” – so long as Denmark sticks with the programme and Terma continues to meets its delivery, quality and price targets.

LM Aeronautics executive vice president Orlando Carvalho is hopeful of an F-35 downselect with industrial participations being a major part of its offer, but he warns that Lockheed will revisit the programme’s Danish industrial component if the government choose another platform.

Terma president and executive officer Jens Maaløe expects its F-35 factory workforce to double to 600-700 people if Denmark selects the F-35. That number does not include the workforces of Terma suppliers and other industrial participates.

Carvalho says Danish industry can expect to share in over $5.5 billion worth of work through 2030 based on a 3,000 aircraft programme of record.

“We are working very hard to ensure Denmark makes the right choice,” Maaløe explains. “When you’re going to invest that amount of money from a small country like Denmark, you need to see jobs being generated. We are not a low-cost country, so we need to work with very high-skill capabilities and that’s why this programme fits well with a company like Terma and our colleagues in the industry back home.”

Denmark had planned to buy 30 A-model F-35s before initiating its fighter competition.