Denmark’s defense ministry has shared first photos of the F-35A with national insignia as it prepares to welcome its first fifth-generation fighter jet in 2021.
The design of the F-35 fighter aircraft, including the stealth coating, is standard for all customers, with no room for customization. However, the only feature differentiating the fighter are the national markings.
The Royal Danish Air Force decided that the F-35A should have the Dannebrog painted on the aircraft’s tail fin. As explained, this is a solution that combines the traditional Danish national marking that has been used throughout the 70-year history of the air force with a dimmed graphic expression that is in line with the F-35 design philosophy.
According to air force Chief of Staff Colonel Jan Dam, this choice was made partly because of a desire for the aircraft to be easily recognizable when on the runway together with F-35s from other countries, and partly to symbolize that the fighter aircraft are neither owned by the defense or the air force, but by all Danes.
The defense ministry noted that the livery would not affect the aircraft’s special features for avoiding radar tracking, and that the national paint won’t make it easier for opponents to detect visually where the aircraft is located.
The first Danish F-35 fighter aircraft is scheduled to be completed by October 2020, and will, after having undergone a series of comprehensive tests, be handed over to Denmark on January 27, 2021.
Denmark’s first F-35 pilot will be trained by February 2021, while it is planned that the first aircraft will start to operate from Skveststrup air base in Denmark in 2023.