Denmark looks to buy Lockheed’s F-35 as Canadian order remains uncertain
Like Canada, Denmark signed onto the aircraft program as a partner, but procurement remains source of controversy in small European nation
COPENHAGEN—The Danish government says it wants to buy 27 of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a deal that would be worth at least 20 billion kroner (US$3.1 billion).
As federal officials in Canada continue to debate the controversial jet program, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said May 12 his government has selected the F-35 over the Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet to replace Denmark’s aging fleet of F-16 fighters.
NATO member Denmark would be the 11th country to buy the F-35 jets, which are equipped with radar-evading stealth technology. Like Canada and seven other countries, the Scandinavian nation signed on to the aircraft program as a partner country, reaping the benefits of industrial contracts awarded in part because of its participation.
Canadian firms have also benefited from the government’s participation, winning approximately $750 million in contracts from the F-35 program so far.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to cancel Canada’s multi-billion order while on the campaign trail, but earlier this month, records obtained by The Canadian Press revealed federal officials may be reconsidering that stance. Like Denmark, Canada is also weighing Boeing’s amped up F-18 as an option to replace its aging fleet of C-18 aircraft.
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Denmark’s purchase—which would be the government’s largest ever—still needs to be approved by the 179-seat parliament.
Just as it is in Canada, the purchase is a source of controversy in the small European country. According to Bloomberg, a recent poll showed 59 per cent of Danes opposed to the decision to buy the new fighter jets.