12:56 22.04.2016(updated 14:57 22.04.2016)
A survey carried out just weeks before Denmark’ government finally reveals which new fighter jet will replace the ageing stock of F-16s in the Danish Air Force has revealed that the majority of Danes are against buying a replacement altogether.
The survey, performed by Wilke on behalf of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, revealed that 53.3 percent of Danes are against splurging out 30 billion kroner (roughly 4.5 billion dollars) on a new fleet of fighter jets. The news has put the Defense Minister, Peter Christiansen, on the defensive, Børsen reported.
“Times have changed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, when we all were assured that the NATO nations were safe and secure,” Christiansen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper, arguing that Denmark must, as fellow NATO nations, intensify its defense effort.
Only 30.8 percent of Danes believe buying new fighters are a good idea, whereas 15.9 percent of respondents claimed to be “unsure.” Unsurprisingly, Danish ladies constituted the majority of the nay-sayers, as under 20 percent of Danish women believe the defense investment was justified.
The Danish government is expected to disclose its new fighter choice sometime in May.
At present, the choice lies between three warplane models, namely the Joint Strike Fighter (produced by US Lockheed Martin), the Eurofighter Typhoon (produced by Airbus in partnership with a pan-European consortium) and the F/A-18 Super Hornet (produced by Boeing), with the F-35A Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) generally considered top dog.
The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has lately caused a remarkable stir in Denmark with an extensive advertising campaign with full-page ads in newspapers, radio programs and full-size advertisements at bus stops. According to many observers, this may be one of the largest lobbying efforts ever at home, as the stakes for being selected the supplier of Denmark’s new fighter fleet are running high.
“Denmark may well be a small country buying comparatively few planes, but nevertheless a large sum of money is at stake. Another thing is that if one wins Denmark, one might also win other European countries and create some kind of snowball effect,” said Jens Ringsmose, associate professor at the Center for War Studies at the University of Southern Denmark, who earlier dismissed Boeing’s attempt to palm off its warplanes as “desperate.”
See related post:
See details of Eurofighter Typhoon: HERE
See details of F-35: HERE
See details of F-18E/F: HERE