Denmark to boost transport, helicopter force

APPROVAL of Denmark’s 2005-2009 defence agreement was granted by the Danish parliament on June 10 with a clear majority vote. The decision clears the way for acquisition of an additional lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules transport and four more EH101 helicopters.

Although the annual budget of DKrl9 billion ($3 billion) for the period is about the same as during the present period, it changes direction significantly in order to fund the transition away from the previous Cold War focus on defence to concentrate more on force-projection for continually increasing international operations. As part of what has been described as the most radical restructuring of the Danish armed forces in 50 years, the Army’s anti-tank helicopter squadron will also now be disbanded.

An option included in Denmark’s original December 7, 2001, contract for 14 EH101 utility helicopters for the Air Force (the first of which are now coming off the production line) will now be exercised to provide four more EH101s, at a cost of DKrl.6 billion ($261 million), for operation by the Navy. Funding is also allocated for the acquisition of a fourth C-130J-30s for the Air Force’s 721 Esk at Vaerlose to join the three recently delivered examples, and an extensive upgrade programme for the Air Force’s 48 operational F-16A/Bs, which will include integration of the Link 16 tactical datalink.

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