Denmark backs Lockheed Martin’s F-35 for $3 billion fighter jet deal


Thu May 12, 2016 6:17am EDT


U.S. defense company Lockheed Martin Corp is set to win a $3 billion order from Denmark for 27 F-35A stealth fighters, after a recommendation by the Danish government on Thursday.

While a final decision by the minority government could still be weeks or even months away, the recommendation to buy F-35A jets marks a setback for Boeing Co, another U.S. weapons maker that mounted an expensive last-ditch marketing effort for its older F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

Denmark would be the 11th country to buy the radar-evading F-35A jets, joining the United States, Britain, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Israel, South Korea and Japan.

The government expects to spend about 20 billion Danish crowns ($3.1 billion) on the purchase, Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said on Thursday, or about 740 million crowns per plane.

“The fighter jets are central to our participation in international missions in the Balkans, in Afghanistan, in Libya and recently in Iraq in the fight against ISIL (Islamic State),” Rasmussen told a news conference.

Lockheed Martin is expected to deliver the 27 jets between 2021 and 2027, he added. The plane will replace the Denmark’s fleet of F-16s delivered by Lockheed Martin almost 40 years ago.

“In recent years we’ve seen how our existing F-16 jets have been in operation more often, for example when Russian planes have come too close to Danish airspace,” Rasmussen said.

The selection by Denmark’s minority Liberal government follows intense public debate about the cost of modernizing the country’s air force, but it can still be blocked by parliament, where opposition politicians are urging budget restraint.

The government did not specify when the final decision would be made, but said enough time would be given to answer any questions from the parties backing the minority government.

Top Lockheed Martin and Boeing executives had planned to present their planes at a public hearing in Copenhagen on Friday, but were later advised by Washington not to participate.

Airbus Group said it still planned to attend the hearing to present the Eurofighter Typhoon – a third jet under consideration – and called for a “healthy and transparent” public debate. The German government is expected to throw its weight behind that bid by sending defense state secretary Katrin Suder to give evidence.

A Lockheed Martin spokesman welcomed the selection.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Denmark’s government would recommend the purchase of at least 27 F-35 fighters.

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris; Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter)


The price is misleading $115 million per unit from what I understand the engines are not included. The engine would cost around $30 million per unit. Sources have indicated that the air frame alone is more than $200 million per unit so I still cannot understand how they calculate the cost????

Producing, Operating and Supporting a 5th Generation Fighter

“About: Fast Facts: Cost | F-35 Lightning II

The most recently contracted unit costs for Low Rate Initial Production lot 7 (not including the engine) are:

  • F-35A: $98 million
  • F-35B: $104 million
  • F-35C: $116 million

An F-35A purchased in 2018 and delivered in 2020 will be $85 million, which is the equivalent of $75 million in today’s dollars.”

F-35 Engine Unit Costs Continue to Grow Even As Production Increases analysis of DoD Inspector General data

“In testimony before a subcommittee of the House armed Services Committee in March, JPO director Lt Gen Christopher Bogdan repeated that “the goal is to reduce the flyaway cost of the F-35A to between $80 and $85 million dollars by 2019.”

This looks unlikely, however, as average airframe costs currently exceed $200 million and if the engine alone costs $30 million.”

See related post:

Danish Defense Ministry Backs Lockheed Martin Fighter Jet Purchase From US

See details of F-35: HERE

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