On April 10, 2014, the Danish Ministry of Defense issued a Request for Binding Information (RBI) to four combat jet manufacturers, as the next step in the evaluation of candidates for the replacement of its current fleet of 30-year old Lockheed F-16AM/BM fighters. Only 30 Danish air force F-16s are currently operational.
The four candidates included in the selection process for the future Danish fighter are:
- Eurofighter Typhoon
- Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet
- Lockheed F-35A Joint Strike Fighter
- Saab Gripen E.
Request for Binding Information (RBI)
The RBI had been planned in the Defence Planning 2013-2017 and it consists of a questionnaire with approximately 950 questions, a total of 1000 pages and it contains four chapters for each of the areas of evaluation:
-- Strategic issues will include focus on the relationship between the candidates and the overall Danish security and defense policy objectives. It is partly about security aspects, and partly on the military strategic aspects in relation to cooperation with other countries.
-- Military issues will focus on candidates’ ability to provide operational power and if the aircraft is future proof with questions about life expectancy and risks associated with each candidate.
-- The Economic evaluation focuses on a comparative assessment of the candidates’ life cycle costs, including costs associated with the acquisition and ongoing operation and maintenance (O&S costs).
-- The questions about industrial cooperation focus on how the procurement of the candidates’ aircraft may support the Danish Industry and Danish security interests.
Selection process: final decision end 2015
The candidates received the RBI on April 10, 2014 and are expected to submit their response to the request in July 2014 to the Director of the Nyt Kampfly Program (New Combat Aircraft Program).
It then will be analyzed, validated and eventually additional information will be gathered from the manufacturers. As a result, an evaluation report will be provided to the Minister of Defense as a basis for procurement proposals at the political level. Planning calls for a final decision in mid-2015, followed by Parliamentary approval and, if obtained, negotiations with the selected manufacturer.
Director of New Combat Aircraft Program, Lone Lindsby said about the RBI:
“I am pleased that we are sending the request for information, because it is an important milestone in the program. We are trying to keep the planned schedule, and we are very focused on providing a clear and transparent decision support that provides the best possible conditions for the final decision in this fighter procurement process. “
Quality assurance by RAND and Deloitte
The quality of the Evaluation Process will be assured externally by Deloitte Denmark (part of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited DTTL) in cooperation with RAND Europe (an US-owned company). This should help ensure that the process is conducted in accordance with the principles of traceability, transparency, integrity and equality.
Royal Danish Air Force - some background
Kongelige Danske Flyvevabnet (Royal Danish Air Force) has a fleet of about 90 aircraft and helicopters and 3,400 personel operating from 3 airfields.
A transport squadron is based at Aalborg (C130H and Challenger); a helicopter wing (3 squadrons) is based at Karup (AW101, Lynx, Eurocopter Fennec), together with the training school (Saab MFI17). The sole fighter wing is based at Skrydstrup with 2 squadrons, Esk.727 and Esk.730, each with 15 F-16AM/BM. At this moment 15 other F-16s are in storage.
In total the Royal Danish Air Force received 77 F-16’s (60x F-16A; 17x F-16B).
The first batch of 46 F-16As and 12 F-16Bs was built by SABCA in Belgium (1980-1983. A second batch was buuilt by Fokker, The Netherlands (1987; 8x F-16A; 4x F-16B). Finally, between 1994 and 1997 Denmark received 6x F-16As and 1x F-16B from US Air Force surplus stocks.
In 2002 Denmark decided to participate in the Development of the F-35 and signed the MOU-SDD as a Tier 3 partners (contribution about US$ 125 million). The original requirement was 48 F-35s, however the current combat fighter fleet is about 30 aircraft, so a replacement of between 24-30 new fighters may be expected.