Integrating the F-35 into Danish Defence

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportRapportForskningfagfællebedømt


  • Gary John Schaub Jr
  • Hans Peter Michaelsen
In June 2016, the Danish Parliament approved the procurement of 27 F-35 fighter aircraft to replace the Royal Danish Air Force’s remaining fleet of 30 operational F-16s. Scheduled for delivery between 2021 and 2026, the F-35
acquisition is only the first of a number of decisions to be taken in the coming years. Previous fighter aircraft acquisitions reveal three sets of risks and challenges inherent in such decisions.
The first set of risks concerns the building of a sufficient organizational structure around the aircraft so that they can perform the set of tasks expected by the Parliament. Adequate numbers of pilots, technicians, and flight engineers must be trained in time to fly and maintain the aircraft to meet the schedule for their delivery accepted by the Parliament. The facilities at Skrydstrup Air Base must also be ready to house, service, and protect the aircraft.
The second set of risks concerns the integration of the new aircraft into the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) and the Danish armed forces more broadly. In the past, new aircraft enabled the RDAF to expand the types of tasks that it could perform, including how it interacted with the forces of the Royal Danish Navy and Army, and the forces of Denmark’s NATO allies.
The third set of risks arise from the possibility that the aircraft can be used in new ways to address currently unforeseeable security challenges. The F-16 fleet played a substantial role in enabling Danish leaders to respond to changes in the international security environment after the Cold War. The F-35 will likely play a similarly fluid role over the course of its 40-year life expectancy.
This report analyses these risks and challenges in light of Denmark’s experience with the F-16, the plans of its North European partners in the F35 programme, and the broader security environment for Danish defence policy. The report concludes with potential considerations for Danish policy makers.
Udgivelses stedCopenhagen
ForlagCenter for Militære Studier, Københavns Universitet
Antal sider71
ISBN (Trykt)9788773938287
StatusUdgivet - 19 nov. 2018
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