Sunday, April 11, 2021

Denmark Becomes 5th NATO Nation To Be Armed With F-35 Stealth Fighter Jet

Denmark became the fifth NATO nation in Europe to be armed with the F-35 fighter jet during an inaugural flight earlier this week, the manufacturer Lockheed-Martin said on Wednesday.

“Denmark is joining four other European nations who already operate the F-35: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway and Italy,” Lockheed Martin said in a press release.

The F-35 will serve as a force multiplier for Denmark, allowing the Royal Danish Air Force to train and fight alongside NATO allies and create a strong deterrent, the release said.

Earlier, US House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith said it is time to cut the budget of the controversial Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program, calling it a money-guzzling “rat hole” that does not work well.

“I want to stop throwing money down that particular rat hole. I know it doesn’t work particularly well,” Smith said during a virtual event hosted by the Brookings Institutions.

Smith dismissed suggestions that the program is working better now after a series of initial problems. He said he would be happy to end all production on the F-35 immediately, but acknowledged that the option to do so did not exist.

“If I can trade the F-35 [and] take the [spending] cap hit in one year, that would be awesome but sadly we don’t have that as an option. It’s just painful. It just hurts. There’s not an easy way out of it. …The sustainment costs [of the aircraft] are brutal,” he said.

The US Air Force and congressional budget appropriators need to develop a new mix of fighter attack aircraft that free the armed forces from having to rely on the F-35 for the next 35 years, Smith said.

During a press briefing on February 25, US Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Brown compared the F-35 to an expensive sports car and said he wanted to keep such planes only for high-end missions. The Air Force planned to order 1,763 F-35As, but 15 years after the first F-35 flew, only 250 of them have been delivered.

Smith’s House Armed Services Committee and its counterpart in the Senate are responsible for drafting the annual defense budget, and typically start work on the process after the president submits a wish-list of priorities to Congress. The process of drafting the budget for 2022 is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

Featured News

China’s PLA Navy Deploys ‘Liaoning’ Carrier Group To Counter US-Led QUAD In The Pacific

Upping its ante against the US-led QUAD, China has deployed warships in the Pacific. As a response to the American provocation, the PLA Navy...

Watch The Russian ‘Super-Weapon’ That Reportedly Poses The Biggest Threat To The US Military

The US seems deeply concerned about what experts call the Russian "super-weapon" Poseidon 2M39 torpedo, according to reports. This comes amid the huge Russian...

How Is India Countering The Growing Fleet Of French & Chinese Origin Submarines With The Pakistan Navy?

India is set to approve the indigenous construction of three nuclear-powered attack submarines to counter the Chinese PLA’s rapid expansion in the Indian Ocean. This...

How French Senate Panel Brokered Talks Between Dassault Aviation & Airbus Over Future Combat Air System (FCAS)

French aerospace company Dassault Aviation and Airbus reached an agreement to remove major obstacles from Europe's future aircraft program FCAS (Future Combat Air System)....

Russia Ready For An Unmanned Ground Attack With Uran-9 ‘Strike Robot Vehicles’: WATCH

The Russian military is set to deploy its first unit of strike robots -- five Uran-9 robotic systems -- the Russian Ministry of Defence...