First Danish F-35 aircraft debuts
The first Royal Danish Air Force F-35A makes its public debut at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, April 7, 2021.
Lockheed Martin

First Danish F-35 aircraft debuts

Lockheed Martin and Royal Danish Air Force celebrate first F-35A Lightning II rollout.

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Danish and American officials celebrated the rollout of the first F-35A Lightning II for the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. This major F-35 program milestone strengthens national defense and global partnerships between the United States, Denmark, and other F-35 partner and buying nations.

"The security situation around the world is increasingly complex," said Trine Bramsen, Danish Minister of Defense. "Being able to defend yourself and your allies is crucial. For peace. For stability. For freedom and democracy. With the new F-35 fighter jets we will increase our ability to protect Denmark. Our region. And wherever necessary as we have done before – side by side with the U.S. and other allies. The F-35s will be at the absolute center for the Danish Defense in the coming decades."

Like the F-16 before it, the F-35 is spearheading NATO's air power and ensuring strategic integration of allied combat airpower. The vital interoperability of the 5th Generation F-35 binds 13 allies and partners with the United States in air dominance and enabling critical joint capabilities. The F-35 will serve as a force multiplier for Denmark, allowing the Royal Danish Air Force to train and fight alongside NATO allies and create a strong deterrent.

"The F-35 will ensure Denmark's sovereignty and air dominance, enhance its multidomain and network-based coalition operations, and play a pivotal role in keeping the Arctic a secure and stable region," said Greg Ulmer, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "This game-changing capability would not be possible without the unwavering support of the Danish government and the innovative contributions of Danish industry."

Danish industry serves as a critical partner with the F-35 Lightning II program through high technology work, ensuring competitiveness and defense industry viability in Denmark. Two Danish companies, Terma A/S and Multicut A/S, are currently making parts such as pylons, advanced composites, software solutions, radar components and horizontal tail edges for every F-35 delivered.

Denmark's F-35 program of record calls for 27 F-35A aircraft, each of which will be built at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth. The first aircraft will be delivered to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, later this month where Danish pilots and maintainers will begin training.

To date, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 625 F-35s, trained more than 1,300 pilots and 10,380 maintainers, and the F-35 fleet has flown nearly 370,000 cumulative flight hours.