The survey, performed by Wilke on behalf of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, revealed that 53.3 percent of Danes are against splurging out 30 billion kroner (roughly 4.5 billion dollars) on a new fleet of fighter jets. The news has put the Defense Minister, Peter Christiansen, on the defensive, Børsen reported.
"Times have changed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, when we all were assured that the NATO nations were safe and secure," Christiansen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper, arguing that Denmark must, as fellow NATO nations, intensify its defense effort.
The Danish government is expected to disclose its new fighter choice sometime in May.
At present, the choice lies between three warplane models, namely the Joint Strike Fighter (produced by US Lockheed Martin), the Eurofighter Typhoon (produced by Airbus in partnership with a pan-European consortium) and the F/A-18 Super Hornet (produced by Boeing), with the F-35A Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) generally considered top dog.
"Denmark may well be a small country buying comparatively few planes, but nevertheless a large sum of money is at stake. Another thing is that if one wins Denmark, one might also win other European countries and create some kind of snowball effect," said Jens Ringsmose, associate professor at the Center for War Studies at the University of Southern Denmark, who earlier dismissed Boeing's attempt to palm off its warplanes as "desperate."