The first Danish F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft has rolled off Lockheed Martin production line in Fort Worth, Texas and moved to the Aircraft Final Finish facility, the company announced.
The aircraft, L-001, is expected to be delivered to the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) this April.
Headed to Final Finish
— F-35 Lightning II (@thef35) January 26, 2021
Denmark is acquiring 27 new F-35A fighter jets from 2021 to 2026. The F-35 is replacing RDAF’s F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, which since the 1980s has given Denmark the ability to assert Danish sovereignty, take part in international operations and contribute to NATO’s collective defense. The new Danish F-35 fighter jets are expected to be able to solve the full task complex nationally and internationally from 2027.
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 will be officially transferred to Danish ownership in April. The first Danish F-35 fighter jets will continue to be in the USA, and it is not until 2023 that Danish F-35 aircraft will land at Skrydstrup Air Base.
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.