Denmark Signs Joint Strike Fighter Memo
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 28, 2002 Denmark became the third country today to sign on for the development and demonstration phase of the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter program.
Pete Aldridge, defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, and Danish National Armaments Director Jorgen Hansen-Nord signed a memorandum of understanding during a morning Pentagon ceremony.
The agreement commits Denmark to put $125 million toward the program. The commitment goes through 2012 and does not commit Denmark to buying the aircraft. The United Kingdom and Canada are the other two countries already aboard as partners.
Aldridge said the Joint Strike Fighter "is yet another example of our cooperative relationship across many different programs and projects."
Hansen-Nord said the signing of the memorandum is more than just a development partnership. "It is also an evidence of our strategic relationship and of the excellent relations between our two countries," he said. "We have stood shoulder-by-shoulder during the Cold War, through the challenging 1990s and, since Sept. 11, we have again joined forces in Operation Enduring Freedom and in the fight against terrorism.
"We don't know which challenges the future will bring," he continued. "But we do know that by standing together and working together we will be able to face the challenges of the future as well."
Participation in the program gives the Danish military a say in how the aircraft is designed and built. It also will provide opportunities for Danish industry to partner with the U.S. aviation industry in building the craft. Denmark has been part of the JSF program since 1997.
Lockheed-Martin is building the aircraft, dubbed the F-35. The company has partnered with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems in the endeavor. In the United States the JSF would replace Air Force F-16s and A-10s and Navy and Marine Corps F-18s and AV-8Bs.
The JSF is a stealthy aircraft that will come in three versions: a conventional takeoff and landing version, a short takeoff/vertical landing version and a carrier version.
Aldridge said the United States expects similar memorandums with the Netherlands and Italy shortly. The United States is still negotiating with Turkey and Norway.