Swedish manufacturer Saab has decided against bidding for the Royal Danish Air Force’s (RDAF) fighter replacement programme (FRP).

Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Airbus Defence and Space have submitted their proposals for the $5.5bn contract.

The FRP programme seeks to buy up to 30 advanced and stealth combat aircraft to replace the RDAF’s F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft fleet.

Danish daily Politiken has reported that Saab and the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM) have decided against submission of bids as the terms are favourable for Lockheed’s F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter.

"The conclusion not to submit a tender is the result of a comprehensive assessment that the state and the industry have made together."

FXM director-general Ulf Hammarstrom said: "We are grateful for the invitation to tender, but as on all occasions like this, we have undertaken an analysis of the situation and choose not to respond to the invitation."

The country serves as a Level 3 partner on the F-35 JSF programme, and has so far invested $110m in its development.

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"The conclusion not to submit a tender is the result of a comprehensive assessment that the state and the industry have made together," Hammarstrom added.

Denmark had evaluated Saab’s Gripen NG, Lockheed’s F-35, Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Eurofighter’s Typhoon combat aircraft for the contract.

The Danish defence ministry had suspended the FRP in 2010 due to budgetary constraints, and restarted it in March 2013.

Discussions on the bids are expected to take place in mid-2015, and the new aircraft is likely to enter service between 2020 and 2024.

Image: Denmark intends to acquire up to 30 combat aircraft to replace F-16 fleet. Photo: courtesy of Lukasz Golowanow / Konflikty.pl.

Defence Technology