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Royal Danish Air Force receives first F-35A

Royal Danish Air Force F-35A handover ceremony
Photo: Danish defense ministry

The Royal Danish Air force has officially taken delivery of its first F-35A Lightning II with the tail number L-001 in a scaled back ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas.

Senior government and military leaders from Denmark and the United States attended the hand-over on April 7.

“The security situation around the world is increasingly complex,” said Trine Bramsen, Danish Minister of Defense. “Being able to defend yourself and your allies is crucial. For peace. For stability. For freedom and democracy. With the new F-35 fighter jets we will increase our ability to protect Denmark. Our region.”

While the F-35 officially changed ownership, it will remain the US until 2023, where it will help train Danish pilots at Luke AFB, alongside up to five other Danish F-35s.

Denmark’s F-35 program of record calls for 27 F-35A aircraft, each of which will be built at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth. The first aircraft will be delivered to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, later this month where Danish pilots and maintainers will begin training.

“The F-35 will ensure Denmark’s sovereignty and air dominance, enhance its multidomain and network-based coalition operations, and play a pivotal role in keeping the Arctic a secure and stable region,” said Greg Ulmer, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

Danish industry is represented in the F-35 Lightning II program by two Danish companies, Terma A/S and Multicut A/S, who currently make parts such as pylons, advanced composites, software solutions, radar components and horizontal tail edges for every F-35 delivered.

Lockheed Martin says it has delivered more than 625 F-35s to date, while the fleet has flown nearly 370,000 cumulative flight hours.