The Defence expenditure allocated by the government, amounted to DKK 22.78 billion, in 2015. Governmental expenditure for Social protection, Health and Education accounted for a staggering 71.4% of the 2015 Budget, while General public services for a further 13.5%, and Defence for just 2%.

Denmark has approximately 450 companies supplying products and services to the wider defence, security and aerospace industries. These companies are primarily subcontractors, specialised in niche markets.

The annual turnover of the Danish Defence Industry, has fluctuated somewhere between €240 and €400 million over the last 5 years (See chart below).

In 2015, the total annual revenue of the Danish Defence Industry increased by some €36 million to €338 million, when compared to the 2014 results. Moreover, due to the projected large national procurements (as per above), associated revenues are expected to record further growth, in the next few years. As an example, as a result of the mid-2016 decision to replace the ageing F-16s with 27 state-of-the-art F-35 aircraft, the Danish government hopes that the eventual value in spin-off (industrial participation) contracts for the local industry, could exceed the total capital investment cost for the programme, of some US $8.5 Billion.

A large number of Danish Defence industry companies develop defence electronics, including software, command and control systems, surveillance and radar technology, as well as ammunition, ballistic protection solutions, minesweeping equipment, parts and systems for armoured vehicles and naval vessels.

In the Aerospace domain, Danish companies provide electronic and mechanical components for aircraft, helicopters and missiles, in addition to certification, support, maintenance and training services. In addition, in relation to space-based platforms, for commercial and/or military purposes, Danish companies provide high-tech electronics for satellites and space rockets.

Danish defence companies rely heavily on exports to western allies, as about 80% of their products are sold abroad, while more specifically, about 50% of these exports are destined for the US and the other 50% for EU countries, mainly the UK, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, Finland and Spain.

In the frame of the sizable on-going and future defence acquisitions by the country up to 2025 (as per in previous), export sales of the indigenous defence industry are expected to grow, especially in relation to parts, components and systems integrated in fighter aircraft, maritime helicopters, armoured personnel carriers, radars and communication systems, surveillance and cyber security solutions. To this end, and with the same horizon (i.e. up to 2025), the Danish Defence Ministry has foreseen some €6.3 billion, for capabilities’ building.

FAD is the national organisation of the Danish defence, security, aerospace and space industry and the focal point of all matters relating to this, at a national and international level. Acting on behalf of the Danish Defence, Security and Aerospace industries, FAD is the forum for networking, cooperation and coordination in Denmark. In addition, FAD is actively involved in the development of policies affecting the aforementioned sectors, and represents the industry in EDA (European Defence Agency), ASD (Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe), NIAG (NATO Industrial Advisory Group), NORDEFCO (Nordic Defence Cooperation) and other international organisations.

FAD is divided in in permanent industry groups, in which members can develop their business in a specific field of interest. Specifically, the following industry groups have been established under FAD:

  • FAD Land (19 member companies)
  • FAD Space (15 member companies)
  • Danish Industry Fighter Aircraft Group (DIFAT) (17 member companies)
  • Helicopter Group (10 members)
  • Allied Ground Surveillance (AGS) Group (6 member companies)

There is a prevalent belief from both members of the Danish Armed Forces, as well as NATO’s R&D community, that Denmark does not invest significant efforts or resources in R&D for Defence. To an extent this can be justified due to the small size of the Danish Armed Forces and the fact that Denmark has traditionally relied on COTS/MOTS technologies, but also in part as a conscious choice of this Scandinavian country. However, considering the new ‘hybrid’ risks that arise worldwide and the fact that Denmark has opted-out of the EU’s CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy), which as a result excludes the country from collaborating in EDA programmes, it seems imperative for Denmark to invest further in R&D for defence applications.