Denmark’s first four locally-based F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft landed on home soil today at the Royal Danish Air Force’s Fighter Wing Skrydstrup, signaling the dawn of a new era for the nation’s defense capabilities. Denmark’s program of record calls for 27 F-35A aircraft, which will be flown and maintained by the Royal Danish Air Force. Denmark has received 10 aircraft to date, with six of these aircraft remaining at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, to support international cooperative F-35 training operations. With the addition of Skrydstrup Air Base, F-35s are now operating from 31 bases worldwide, safeguarding the skies for allies around the globe. Like the F-16 before it, the F-35 makes the joint force better, securing regional stability, enhancing integrated deterrence and ensuring sovereignty of allied air space. The vital interoperability of the 5th Generation F-35 binds 17 allies and partners together, significantly increasing NATO’s deterrent capability in a 21st Century Security battlespace.
“As newly appointed Defense Industrial Attaché, it is a privilege to oversee the first aircraft ferry of Denmark’s new F-35 Lightning II,” said His Royal Highness Brig. Gen. Prince Joachim of Denmark. “The F-35 is a huge step forward in technology. The arrival of the F-35 provides Denmark and the Danish Armed Forces a beacon to transform the armed forces to 5th Generation. It is a pleasure to note that this unique piece of military hardware also holds Danish industrial components and is testimony to the close ties between the United States and Denmark.”
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. In June 2016, Denmark confirmed plans to procure 27 F-35As. 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.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Danish industry partner Terma sponsor an annual internship program at the Fort Worth, Texas and Marietta, Georgia facilities. Graduate students from the Technical University of Denmark and Aalborg University work on the F-35 program to learn more about engineering, manufacturing, supply chain and quality assurance over a five-month period. This program was developed to meet the constantly growing need to identify high performers in STEM. It directly links students with a talent development pipeline while providing them an invaluable hands-on experience to enhance their careers. The program also furthers the 40-plus-year partnership between Lockheed Martin and Denmark.