Denmark has celebrated the arrival of its first four permanently based F-35A Lightning II aircraft, to be located at Skrydstrup Air Base.

“Arrival of the first F-35 combat aircraft in Denmark is a historic event for the Danish Defence and the Royal Danish Air Force,” said Danish Minister of Defence, Troels Lund Poulsen.

“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.”

During the ceremony, Lockheed Martin handed over the certificate of ownership of Denmark’s F-35s to the Danish Ministry of Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organisation.

Critical role on the F-35 programme

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 program.

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-plus 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.”

Delivery of 10 F-35s to date

Denmark has taken delivery of 10 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.

Denmark’s F-35 fleet will play a pivotal role in bolstering NATO’s collective resilience in the Baltics and strengthening the alliance’s ability to deter and defend against all threats across all domains. Denmark is the 10th country and fifth European NATO nation to operate the F-35 from its home soil. The F-35’s growing presence in Europe increases collaboration with trusted allies and partners through a multilateral, multinational approach, ensuring an effective deterrent against near-peer competitors.

By the mid-2030s, more than 600 F-35s will be stationed on the European continent across NATO member bases and Switzerland. NATO members in the F-35 program of record include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United States and the United Kingdom.

With the addition of Skrydstrup Air Base, F-35s are now operating from 31 bases worldwide. To date, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 975 F-35s, trained more than 2,180 pilots and 15,000 maintainers, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 721,430 cumulative flight hours. Lockheed Martin continues to work side by side with F-35 operators to ensure allies remain ahead of the evolving threat.
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