Denmark reopens fighter bid, seeking 30 new jets
Contributor: Andrew Elwell
Posted: 03/14/2013 12:00:00 AM EDT | 0
After putting the competition on ice in 2010 due to the financial meltdown, the Danish government has officially relaunched its bid to acquire a new fleet of fighters with Boeing, Saab, Eurofighter and Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter team all on stand-by.
Although Eurofighter suspended sales talks with the Danes back in 2007, the European consortium keen to reopen discussions about the Danish New Combat Aircraft competition. Eurofighter CEO, Enzo Casolini, said: "We welcome the invitation of the Danish Government and we are pleased to enter into this international competition … We are ready to develop a strategic partnership with Denmark and provide opportunities for significant collaboration with Europe’s leading industrial nations.”
Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and Saab’s Gripen will also be vying for the contract, which will be one of the largest in Danish history.
Saab could play off its established relationship with the Danish as Lieutenant Colonel Stefan Wilson, the Head of Air Operations, J3 at the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters, told Defence IQ that: “In Operation Unified Protector, Denmark and Norway also participated with their fighters. At Sigonella NAS we had a very good cooperation with the Danish unit – that collaboration was one of the reasons why we could declare IOC so early.”
Although the Danish Defence Forces are a relatively small outfit, in a recent interview with Defence IQ Colonel Steen Ulrich, Commander, Danish Helicopter Wing Karup, explained that “the trick is flexibility and, above all, mindset,” when seeking to maximise effectiveness for training and operations.
A winner is likely to be announced in 2015 although the in-service date is unknown, however the Ministry of Defence indicated that it could be as late as 2024.