Denmark just issued a glowing review of the F-35

F 35ALockheed MartinF-35 Lightning II Joint Strike

Danish officials recently issued the results of a long and intensive evaluation, concluding that the F-35 Joint Strike fighter beat out the F-18 Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon as the nation’s best strategic, economic, industrial, and military replacement for their ageing fleet of F-16s.

The Danish acknowledged that their F-16s were reaching the end of their lifespan, noting that they will have been operational for 40 years in a longer report on the aircraft’s respective capabilities.

As a result of their findings, the Danish Prime Minister and Defence Ministers are recommending the nation buy 27 of the Joint Strike Fighters at a price around $3 billion. Though the F-35 has frequently taken a hammering in the press for the program’s cost and time overruns, the order from Denmark make shows that it still has bright prospects as an export.

Additionally, the F-35 handily outperformed the other jets in the evaluation carried out by a wide range of experts. The graphic below shows the F-35 beating the jets out in all military aspects.

So the F-35 proved to be the most survivable, effective on missions, and compatible with weapons systems of the future. Only in the area of risk did the F-35 narrowly lose out to the F-18, whose service with other forces around the world means that it’s risks have largely been addressed, according to the Danish report.

F-35 cost effectiveDanish Ministry of DefenceThe brackets alongside the bars on this graph indicate the potential for cost overruns throughout the life of the plane.

The Danish officials cited the F-35’s stealthy design and advanced sensors and equipment as increasing the survivability of the plane when under attack from enemies.

Importantly, despite the F-35 costing significantly more than a single F-18 or Eurofighter, Danish officials concluded that they could buy fewer of the F-35s, ultimately saving money.

Several factors contribute to the F-35’s low cost over the lifetime of the project. The F-35 is designed to fly more hours than the F-18, and it has an internal diagnostic system that makes maintenance easier.

The fact that the F-35 and Eurofighter are single seaters also save on hours needed to instruct the pilots.

“The F-35 Lightning II will help ensure Denmark’s national security, and also positions Danish industry to capture long-term work throughout the life of the program,” a spokesperson for Lockheed Martin said.

Denmark would join the UK, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Israel, South Korea and Japan as customers for the US-made F-35.

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