Aircraft giants in a dogfight for Danish skies

The world’s largest weapons manufacturers are throwing money at Danish industry in an attempt to influence the country’s choice of a new fighter

Huge aircraft manufacturers Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Airbus are currently making multi-million kroner orders at a wide variety of Danish companies.

The windfall comes at a time when the government is due to decide which of the three giants will be the one to replace the F-16 fighter plane currently being used by the Danish military.

The price tag, estimated at about 30 billion kroner, would be the largest arms deal in Danish history.

“We are sending a signal, not only to Danish politicians, but also to Danish companies that we are interested in long-term co-operation,” Lars Illum Jørgensen, the sales director for Airbus, told DR Nyheder. Airbus would like to see Denmark choose its Eurofighter to replace the F-16s.

Throwing money around
Airbus recently cut a deal with the Herning company Muliticut to supply components for the company’s A350 passenger aircraft for the next three years.

Not to be outdone, the American company Boeing is set to announce an 100 million kroner arrangement with Aarhus defence contractor Terma to supply components for Boeing’s 777 civilian aircraft. The deal is new ground for Terma, which had previously dealt with primarily military components. Boeing wants its F18 Super Hornet to be Denmark’s new fighter.

The home stretch
Lockheed Martin, another American competitor, is pumping money into a manufacturing development centre run by business group Dansk Industri and is also funding projects at DTU to sway the vote in favour of its F35 Joint Strike Fighter

“These are signs that the competition is entering the final phase and all three manufacturers are doing what they can to look good in the eyes of the media,  public and politicians,” Andreas Krog, the editor of the website, told DR Nyheder.

READ MORE: New fighter jets must create jobs, defence minister insists

The final selection process will start on 18 June. The companies have submitted proposals to build either 24, 30, or 36. planes.

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