Denmark has unveiled the livery of its new F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft and it is not the typical F-35 low-viz livery.
Renderings released by the Defence Command Denmark (Forsvaret) showed aircraft with colour national markings.
The design has Flag of Denmark (Dannebrog) painted on the aircraft’s tail fin and the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) roundel on the side of the engine inlet. Both the fin flash and the roundel use a dimmed version with a dark red hue, combined with a light gray shade instead of white.
The Forsvaret statement said that this design combines the traditional Danish national marking that has been used throughout the 70-year history of the Air Force with a subdued graphic expression that is in line with the F-35 aircraft’s design philosophy.
The statement added that the aircraft’s capabilities for avoiding radar tracking “are 100 percent intact”, and the markings “won’t make it easier for opponents to detect it visually”.
According to Chief of Staff in Aircraft Command Jan Dam, this choice was made partly because of a desire for the aircraft to be easily recognizable when on the runway together with F-35 from other countries, and partly to symbolize that the fighter aircraft are neither owned by the Defense or the Air Force, but by all Danes.
“The F-35 is not just the Defense or Air Force’s new fighter aircraft. It is the whole of Denmark’s fighter aircraft that must make sure that we can all sleep safely at night. Therefore, the F-35 must of course be painted with Dannebrog on the tail fin and in this way show that the F-35 is the nation’s shield against enemies, ”says Colonel Jan Dam, chief of staff of the Defense Aircraft Command.
Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) F-35 Livery:
Denmark’s F-35 Procurement:
Denmark joined the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in 2002 during the System Development and Demonstration phase and has influenced technical elements of the F-35.In October 2008, they delivered a Danish F-16 to the JSF 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB as part of the RDAF’s partnership with the F35 program and the F-16 served as a chase plane for the F-35 Development, Test & Evaluation program through Dec. 2016. In June 2016, Denmark confirmed plans to procure 27 F-35As.
Danish Industry is already involved with F-35 production and development in Denmark. Several Danish companies such as Terma and Multicut have been awarded work and are making parts such as pylons, advanced composites, machine parts, radar components and horizontal tail edges, on every single F-35.
The first Danish F-35 fighter aircraft is scheduled to be completed by October 2020, and, after having undergone a series of comprehensive tests, will be officially transferred to Danish ownership on January 27, 2021.
This transfer will be done at a roll-out ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s factory in Forth Worth in the US. Following the transfer, Danish fighter pilots, mechanics, and other personnel will be trained for the operation of the aircraft.
Denmark’s first F-35 pilot will be trained for February 2021, while it is planned that the first aircraft will start to operate from Skveststrup Flyvestation (Fighter Wing Skrydstrup) in Denmark in 2023.