(Image © Elmer van Hest)

Denmark finally opts for F-35 after criticized selection

Danish parliament on Thursday 9 June formally decided the country is  buying 27 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets. The Lockheed Martin aircraft was announced to have won the bid for replacing Demark’s ageing fighter jets last month, leaving parliament with the final vote of approval.

The majority in parliament voted in favour, although an amendment now says the total number could be reduced to just 21 aircraft if budget doesn’t allow the desired total of 27 aircraft. Denmark is the fifth European country to choose the Lightning II, following the Netherlands, Italy, the UK and Norway.

The selection was heavily criticized however. Opponents remarked that the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon never made a chance in the process. Saab opted to never enter the Danish competition in the first place, believing the choice for the F-35 was already made by Copenhagen. Similarly, Dassault didn’t bother to offer its Rafale to the Danish.

Denmark now operates 44 F-16s, which are up for deployment over Syria and Iraq soon.