COPENHAGEN, (BM) – The United States has pressed to encourage Denmark to increase purchases of F-35 fifth generation fighter jets, with the U.S. Military itself set to field over 1000 of these jets, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting Military Watch.
The American ambassador Copenhagen Carla Sands stated regarding the European state’s planned acquisitions: “Some of the Danish [F-35A] planes stay in the United States, because Danish pilots will be trained in Arizona, and about 22 planes will come to Denmark. This is not many aircraft compared to the 38-40 F-16 you have today. It is actually a reduction in the number of aircraft, so Denmark should probably look into it.”
The statement notably came after the Donald Trump administration announced efforts to use embassy personnel abroad to boost the country’s arms exports. The comments were criticised by politicians across the country’s political spectrum as a form of foreign interference in Danish affairs.
Denmark has purchased 27 F-35A fighters making it one of the platform’s smallest operators. The aircraft will replace 30 operational F-16 Fighting Falcons, ageing fourth generation platforms which are being prepared for a phasing out of service by operators around the world.
Due to the new fighter’s considerably higher acquisition and operational costs, F-16 operators across the world are expected to see their fleets contract as they transfer to the F-35A – including the U.S. Air Force itself.
The F-35’s superior electronic warfare capabilities, sensors, range and survivability and its access to a new generation of munitions however will reduce the need to field the aircraft in as large numbers as the F-16 due to their greater efficiency.
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Source: Military Watch