The Danish Air Force has welcomed the in-country arrival of its first four permanently based F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Skrydstrup Air Base, Denmark.
“Arrival of the first F-35 combat aircraft in Denmark is a historic event for the Danish Defence and the Royal Danish Air Force. It is thanks to close and professional cooperation between Lockheed Martin, the F-35 partnership and the Danish Defence, that Danish Defence now cross the threshold into the future of air defence,” said Danish Minister of Defence, Troels Lund Poulsen.
Denmark has played a critical role on the F-35 programme, joining in 2002 as a partner during the System Development and Demonstration phase, strategically influencing technical elements of the programme. The Royal Danish Air Force also contributed a Danish F-16 to the Joint Strike Fighter 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California where it served as a chase plane for the F-35 Development, Test & Evaluation programme. Danish industry has also contributed to F-35 production, development and sustainment activities and today, is building parts and components for each of the projected 3,100+ aircraft to be manufactured.
“This milestone event is the realisation of the vision, foresight and strategic investment Denmark made more than a decade ago. We expect that the F-35 will play a crucial role in 21st century security missions for Denmark, delivering unmatched fifth-generation capability, connectivity and interoperability,” said Greg Ulmer, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “The F-35 integrates joint forces, providing an unparalleled network effect across allied forces and significantly strengthening alliance-based deterrence across all domains.”
Denmark has taken delivery of ten F-35s to date, four of which are now at Skrydstrup Air Base and six of which are stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where Danish pilots and maintainers are conducting training. Denmark has plans to purchase 27 F-35 aircraft in total.