With passions around Denmark's controversial decision to strike a costly warplane deal with the US still seething, the Danish Defense Ministry was recently found out to have omitted important details on the F-35's rivals under a false pretext. Therefore, foul play is suspected on Copenhagen's part.
In May, Denmark finally settled on 27 Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jets, thus wrecking the chances of the two other candidates, Boeing's Super Hornet and Airbus's Eurofighter Typhoon. However, the objectivity of the Defense Ministry in connection with the 8 billion dollar deal is now in question, as vital information on the F-35's rivals was reportedly left out on purpose.
According to recent reports, the Defense Ministry omitted information about the flight performance of the Boeing and Airbus planes on the grounds that they supposedly failed to meet the deadline and provide the details in time, a claim both aircraft manufacturers strongly deny.
"The German Defense Ministry and US industry delivered the answers to the technical questions before the deadline on April 6. Therefore, we expected of course the submitted data to be taken into account the in the final report," Lars Jørgensen Illum, sales chief for Airbus in Denmark, said.
"This is just another example of how the F-35 came to look so good in the final report," Peter Viggo Jakobsen, associate professor at the Defense Academy, told the Danish newspaper Berlingske. "One is left with the impression that everything was done to have the F-35 win," he further said.
According to Eva Flyvholm of the Red-Green Alliance, which has been very critical of Copenhagen's participation in the "arms race," the revelation has enhanced the impression that the stage was set for the F-35 from the very beginning.
"At best, this is extremely sloppy, at worst, it is sheer manipulation," Eva Flyvholm said.
According to aircraft expert Andreas Krog, it is very unfortunate, that the report that laid the foundation for a costly warplane deal is being questioned once again.
"This is another pebble in the big picture of a messy report," Andreas Krog told Politiken.
Meanwhile, the ink is still drying on the political agreement for the update of the fighter aircraft fleet. The discussion ended in a deal between the Social Democrats, the Social Liberals, the Liberal Alliance and the Danish People's Party to buy a total of 21 F-35 fighters, while retaining the option to buy six extra warplanes should the budget be able to handle it.