[Royal Danish Air Force] The F-35 ready to enter service with the Royal Danish Air Force – Invitation to the rollout Celebration


The F-35 ready to enter service

with the Royal Danish Air Force

Invitation to the rollout Celebration 

Authors: Benoit Denet & Martin Gillet.

On Wednesday, April 7th 2021 (at 09:00 – 10:30 CDT / 16:00 – 17:30 CET), the official handover ceremony for the first Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) F-35 will take place in Fort Worth, Texas.

© Benoît Denet

You’re invited to the Celebration rollout

After a successful F-35 Milestone on March 10, 2021, NATO with First F-35A For Denmark Taking Flight, rollout Celebration is taking place today.

Lockheed Martin will celebrate the factory rollout of the Royal Danish Air Force’s first F-35A in Fort Worth, Texas. The event will be held on Wednesday, April 7, from 09:00 – 10:30 CDT / 16:00 – 17:30 CET and marks a major F-35 programme milestone that strengthens national defence and global partnerships. The ceremony will include high-level speeches from Danish and U.S. officials and also feature the aircraft’s official reveal. Lockheed Martin typically invites a large group of media to aircraft rollout ceremonies, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, they are limiting in-person attendance at this event. Guests may select English or Danish language.

© Lockheed Martin

Denmark joined the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme in 2002 during the System Development and Demonstration phase and has influenced technical elements of the F-35. In October 2008, they delivered a Danish F-16 to the JSF 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB as part of the RDAF’s partnership with the F-35 programme and the F-16 served as a chase plane for the F-35 Development, Test & Evaluation programme through Dec. 2016.

© Benoît Denet

In June 2016, Denmark confirmed plans to procure 27 F-35As.

Lockheed Martin and the Danish Armed Forces have enjoyed a successful partnership since the early 1950s, with the T-33 Shooting Star, F-104 Starfighter, C-130 Hercules and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Denmark is an essential partner in F-35 production, development and sustainment activities and today is building parts and components for the projected 3,100+ aircraft to be manufactured.

© Benoît Denet
  • Suppliers:
    • Terma A/S
    • Trelleborg Sealing Solutions
    • Multicut
  • Base location:

RDAF Skrydstrup

  • Programme Milestones:

In June 2016: Denmark selected the F-35 for their new fighter programme.

In 2017: The Danish Parliament approved the F-35 appropriations bill covering all programme elements through the year 2026.

In 2019: Avionics Test Centre of Denmark assigned Tier 2 Component Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade Scope for repair of 16 avionics components.

In 2020: First F-35A for Denmark progressing towards delivery.

The first Danish F-35s will be delivered to Luke AFB in Arizona for pilot training. The first one is expected to arrive at Skrydstrup AFB in 2023.

The F-35 and Belgium:

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Belgium and the US was signed in 2018 for the purchase of 34 F-35A aircraft.

The first aircraft will be delivered in 2023 to Luke Air Force Base to start pilot training. The first F-35 will arrive on Belgian soil in 2025 at the Florennes base to replace the venerable F-16.

© Benoît Denet

Two identical facilities, including simulators, will be built in Florennes and Kleine-Brogel.  BAF is expected to have about 60 pilots qualified on the new aircraft.

The F-35 Lightning II will meet Belgium’s national security, industrial and economic needs for decades to come. The foundation of Belgium’s F-35 programme is rooted in longstanding, reliable partnerships between Lockheed Martin and the Belgian government and industry.

The F-35 ensures Belgium continues to operate with the latest aircraft and technology to protect its border and to operate seamlessly with its allies in support of NATO missions.

The Belgian Air Component began flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon and C-130 Hercules in the 1970s. More than 40 years later, this strong partnership continues with the Lightning II. Just like the F-16 has for more than four decades, the F-35 programme is poised to generate high-quality, long-term jobs for Belgium long into the future.

© Benoît Denet

Through the Essential Security Interest (ESI) program, Lockheed Martin will provide industrial opportunities for multiple Belgian companies in all three geographic regions. The projects secured through the ESI programme will bring cutting-edge manufacturing techniques and benefits, expanding Belgian industry’s skills and knowledge and providing high-tech jobs for Belgians for decades to come.

Some of the companies that have secured projects through the ESI program include ASCO, Feronyl, ILIAS Solutions, SABCA, Sonaca, and AMI Metals.


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