(COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Feb 27, 2007 /PRNewswire) -- Denmark today became the ninth and final F-35 partner nation to join the production and support phase of the Joint Strike Fighter program.
In signing the F-35 Production, Sustainment and Follow-On Development Memorandum of Understanding, Denmark extends its cooperation in the program beyond the current System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase, and joins the family of partner nations that will cooperatively develop, produce, test, train and operate the F-35 Lightning II.
"Today's milestone is not the end of a process but rather the beginning of constructing the world's greatest airpower coalition," said Brig. Gen. C.R. Davis, F-35 Lightning II program executive officer. "Denmark's long history of active partnership with the U.S. and all F-35 partner nations reaches a new pinnacle today as the country signs this MOU. This is a really great moment for the entire F-35 Lightning II Team."
Denmark's work on the program includes advanced composites, communications software, control-surface components and weapons pylons.
"Lockheed Martin is proud to continue its longstanding alliance with Danish industry, which has repeatedly shown that it is fully competitive with the best in the world," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of F-35 Program Integration. "This is a day to celebrate the strong relationship between Denmark and the United States, and to recognize the Danish government, military and industry for their foresight and dedication."
Denmark joined the JSF program in 1997, and in 2002 was the first European nation to enter the program's SDD phase. Over the last four months, the United States and the other JSF partner nations -- the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia and Norway -- signed the F-35 production and sustainment memorandum.
The Lightning II is a stealthy, supersonic, multi-role, 5TH Generation jet designed to replace a wide range of existing aircraft, including AV-8B Harriers, A-10s, F-16s, F/A-18 Hornets and United Kingdom Harrier GR.7s and Sea Harriers. The first F-35 began its flight test program on Dec. 15, 2006.
Lockheed Martinis developing the F-35 Lightning II with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, along with a worldwide supplier network. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136, with either engine producing 40,000 pounds of thrust.