The influx of new transport aircraft (Hercules C130 J) and new helicopters (EH 101) increases the capacity of the Air Force to support land-based military operations and humanitarian efforts, just as inspection aircraft (Challenger) give the Air Force sufficient capacity for environmental surveillance and for addressing other domestic needs, including tasks in the North Atlantic region. In addition, upgraded F-16 aircraft continue to constitute a significant capacity compared to the national sovereignty defence (defence readiness) and relevant participation in international operations, including participation in the NATO Response Force. The overall fighter aircraft structure, including the number of operational aircraft, is to be adapted in accordance with actual tasks and with respect to the F-16 aircraft’s total lifetime and the possibilities of introducing new fighter aircraft in the long term.
The level of ambition for the Air Force’s contribution of fighter aircraft to international operations is fixed at eight fighter aircraft at high readiness and eight fighter aircraft at lower readiness.
NATO’s decision to establish a large air operational facility at Karup, which is a significant, high-priority contribution to NATO’s air defence capacities, includes a need for continued development of the command organisation of the Air Force, and for the Air Force to make a broadly-scoped contribution to operational personnel and support for the air operational facility.
Danish participation in NATO’s Prague Capabilities Commitment concerning air to air refuelling and strategic air transport is to be strengthened.
The Air Force’s compulsory military service is to be reorganised so that Air Force conscripts will in principle undergo the same training programme as Army and Navy conscripts.
In addition, the Air Force will be reorganised as follows:
- The land-based air defence system (DeHawk) will be abolished.
- A staff will be established at the Air Tactical Command that can be detached and deployed autonomously or together with other Danish units.
- Eight fighter aircraft at high readiness and eight fighter aircraft at lower readiness designated to NATO, which means that – together with aircraft for national task performance – considering the requisite number of training aircraft, the remaining flight time of each aircraft, etc., 48 operational F-16 aircraft will be maintained and organised in two squadrons that are expected to be placed at Skrydstrup Air Base.
- One transport aircraft at high readiness and an additional two transport aircraft for occasional deployment at lower readiness are to be designated to NATO. The aircraft are part of a transport unit consisting of four transport aircraft and three inspection aircraft based in Aalborg.
- One transport helicopter unit consisting of four helicopters designated to NATO at high readiness. The contributions are to be part of a helicopter unit consisting of fourteen EH-101 helicopters, which also participate in national rescue efforts, etc. The helicopters are based at Karup Air Base.
- One helicopter observation and light transport detachment consisting of four helicopters is to be designated for NATO on high readiness. The detachment is part of a helicopter company consisting of eight Fennec helicopters.
- One mobile air operations facility with long-range radar, based at Karup Air Base and Skrydstrup Air Base, designated to NATO at high readiness. In addition, the overall radar structure consists of one mobile radar (Multebjerg), a stationary air operations facility (Karup) and two stationary radar facilities (Skagen and Bornholm).
- In addition to this, the following are designated to NATO at high readiness: one unit for establishing airfields, one communication unit, one unit for examining and air-evacuating casualties and a staff unit.
- The Air Force’s Special Training School and the Air Force’s Command and Combat Support School are to be amalgamated at Karup Air Base.
- The primary maintenance of transport aircraft, inspection aircraft and helicopters is to be outsourced, the main workshop at Værløse Air Base is to be closed down and the air base is to be sold.
The total number of permanent Air Force personnel fixed at around 3,400, and the number of response force contracts is set at around 250, for which approximately 2,500 sustainment training days are earmarked each year. The Defence Budget is based on a calculated figure equivalent of some 100 full-time conscripts annually for the Air Force.
In determining the placement of the Air Force’s units and commands, priority was given to optimum utilisation of the total available capacity, as the subsequent consolidation may lead to a need for additional changes.
The following equipment is to be procured for the Air Force:
- One Hercules C-130-J transport aircraft.
- Electronic warfare systems.
- Command and control systems for F-16s, etc., (C3I, Link 16).
- Upgrading of F-16s (M5).
- Participation in PCC (air to air refuelling and strategic air transport).
- Mobile control and reporting centre.
- Participation in NATO’s jointly funded capability initiatives (PCC), including Allied Ground Surveillance and AWACS.
Denmark continues to participate in the Joint Strike Fighter project.