The Typhoon is one of the competitors to replace the Danish Air Force's F-16 fleet. (GEOFFREY LEE/ / Eurofighter)
LONDON — Airbus, Boeing and Lockheed Martin have confirmed they have submitted bids to replace the Royal Danish Air Force’s aging F-16 combat jet fleet but Saab has withdrawn from the competition.
The Danes invited two European and two US bidders to respond to a request for binding information by July 21 to supply between 24 and 30 jets. Only three of the contenders replied with bids.
A decision on the long-running effort to acquire a replacement for the F-16s is expected next year.
Airbus Defence and Space with the Typhoon, Boeing with the F/A-18E/F and Lockheed with the F-35 said they had lodged bids, in separate statements Wednesday.
Denmark has been a partner on the F-35 for a number of years and Danish industry has already been the recipient of a series of work programs on the combat jet, making Lockheed the long-time favorite to secure the deal.
“The United States government submitted the F-35 Lightning ll proposal last week. Lockheed Martin looks forward to working with the Danish government on meeting their new fighter program requirements,” said a Lockheed Martin spokeswoman.
Airbus, which is leading the Danish export campaign on behalf of the Eurofighter consortium, said in a statement the Typhoon met all of Denmark’s requirements for its future fighter.
“We are convinced that, with its strong partnership between European nations and more than 400 aircraft already in service, Eurofighter is the rational choice for Denmark,” said Uli Fingerle, Eurofighter campaign director.
Boeing said it had “submitted a response to Denmark’s Request for Binding Information, and we continue to believe that the Danish New Fighter Program competition is being conducted in a fair and transparent manner. The Super Hornet is the best match for Denmark in terms of capability, project risk, price and opportunities for Danish industry,” said Rick McCrary, director of international sales for Boeing Military Aircraft.
Earlier this week, Saab and FXM, the Swedish government arms exports agency, announced they were withdrawing the Gripen fighter from the competition.
“As on all occasions like this, we have undertaken an analysis of the situation and choose not to respond to the invitation. The conclusion not to submit a tender is the result of a comprehensive assessment that the state and the industry have made together,” said FXM director-general Ulf Hammarström. ■