Denmark reached official agreement this week to buy 27 F-35A joint strike fighters, ending years of delay to modernize its aging fleet of F-16 fighter jets, put off in 2010 amid economic concerns.
The Danish government announced a recommendation to buy the jets at a rough rate of $3 billion each in May, Defense News reported. The plane is made by Lockheed Martin, which beat out other offers for the Eurofighter Typhoon — a jet made by three companies, Alenia Aermacchi, Airbus and BAE systems — as well as from Boeing.
Denmark is one of nine countries worldwide that partnered with Lockheed to push the F-35 joint strike fighter program. Those other countries include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, according to the F-35 website. Six of those countries have already received their first jets from the program. Three foreign nonpartners received their first jets in 2016.
“Our company has evolved parallel to the program and we are excited to see what this new phase in our collaboration will bring. One thing is certain: We look forward to explore new areas of cooperation and bring ‘best value’ to the F-35 program,” Jens Maaløe, president of Terma, Denmark’s largest defense company and a manufacturer of parts for the F-35, said in a statement following the announcement. “To be a supplier to the international military aircraft industry takes hard work and dedication — and we are ready to continue down the road we began more than a decade ago.”
The F-35 is the most expensive weapons system in history and has seen its fair share of controversy. Wanting to stay ahead of China and Russia, the U.S. Pentagon started buying the jet before testing — a break from general practices for weapons acquisition. The aircraft, however, had several unforeseen flaws, resulting in $163 billion in extra costs above what was expected.