Denmark has taken a significant step towards accountability and transparency with the launch of an impartial legal investigation into the procurement of artillery systems from Elbit Systems. This bold move reaffirms Denmark’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards in its defense acquisitions and the integrity of its democratic institutions. The decision to initiate this inquiry was not taken lightly, and it comes in response to serious criticisms surrounding the process of acquiring new fire support systems from Elbit Systems in January 2023. The concerns voiced by various stakeholders prompted Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen to make the responsible choice of commissioning an independent legal investigation into key aspects of the procurement process. This decision reflects a commitment to upholding the principles of transparency and accountability in government actions, which are essential in a thriving democracy. It is not just the responsibility of the government but also a testament to the strength of Denmark’s democratic institutions, where the rule of law and checks and balances prevail. The broad political support for this investigation from various parties, including the government and the opposition, underscores Denmark’s dedication to impartiality and fairness. It demonstrates that, in the face of crucial decisions, the nation’s leaders can put aside their political differences to ensure that the best interests of Denmark are served.
The inquiry’s scope is comprehensive and includes four central topics:
Investigation of the market hedging process in January 2023, including the presence of any improper considerations in its organization.
Examination of the document preparation process in January 2023 to determine if authorities deliberately provided misleading information to the Folketing.
Scrutiny of the settlement entered into in January 2023 between the Ministry of Defence’s Materiel and Procurement Agency and Elbit Systems to investigate any connections between the settlement and the subsequent order placed with Elbit Systems.
Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the misinformation given to the defense conciliation circle regarding the use of a special demonstrator edition for training.
The comprehensiveness of these topics indicates the seriousness with which Denmark is taking this inquiry. It encompasses various aspects of the procurement process, leaving no stone unturned, and ensures a thorough examination of the entire affair.
Moreover, the involvement of key government departments, such as the Ministry of Defence’s Materiel and Procurement Agency, the Defense Command, and the Ministry of Defence’s department, underscores Denmark’s commitment to transparency in government dealings. Additionally, the inclusion of relevant material from other agencies and ministries further demonstrates the nation’s willingness to maintain accountability at every level. The investigation will also explore the role of the former Minister of Defense, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, but it will refrain from making judgments regarding any mistakes or negligence. This aspect of the inquiry signifies Denmark’s dedication to fair and impartial fact-finding, allowing the Folketing to make informed decisions based on the investigation’s findings. Denmark’s decision to launch an impartial legal investigation into the procurement of artillery systems from Elbit Systems is a significant step towards accountability, transparency, and the protection of its democratic institutions. This move reflects a commitment to upholding the highest standards in government actions and demonstrates that Denmark’s leaders are willing to put the nation’s interests above political considerations. It is a positive stride in ensuring the integrity of the defense acquisition process and preserving the democratic principles that Denmark holds dear.
The Danish defense ministry in January 2023, initialed a contract with Israeli manufacturer Elbit Systems for the supply of 155mm tube artillery and multiple rocket launchers worth over DKK 1.7 billion, according to the Danish Altinget news website. The contract was signed exactly a week after the Danish cabinet announced it would donate to Ukraine all 19 Caesar 155mm truck-mounted howitzers it had ordered from France’s Nexter. The deal signed with Elbit is intended to replace them. Subject to approval by the Danish Parliament’s finance committee, Denmark will now procure from Elbit 19 Atmos eight-wheeled, 155mm self-propelled howitzers worth DKK 805 million ($117.6 million) as well as eight PULS multiple rocket launchers worth DKK 940 million ($137.7 million). The ATMOS self-propelled gun-howitzer was developed by Soltam (Elbit Systems) as a private venture. The PULS is a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) developed and manufacture by Elbit Systems. The multi-purpose launcher features two PODS; each POD is designed for a specific rocket type: the Accular 122mm (18 rockets) with a range of up to 35km, the Accular 160mm (10 rockets) with a range of up to 40km, the EXTRA (4 rockets) with a range of up to 150km and the Predator Hawk (2 rockets) with a range of up to 300km.