Saab will not bid for Denmark warplane order -newspaper

COPENHAGEN, July 21 Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:50am EDT

COPENHAGEN, July 21 (Reuters) - Swedish defence company Saab has dropped out of a tender to supply Denmark with between 22 and 30 fighter jets because officials expect rival Lockheed Martin Corp to win the competition, Danish daily Politiken reported on Monday.

Citing Swedish sources close to the decision makers, the newspaper said both Saab and the Swedish government expected Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to win the bid as the Danish government has had a role in developing the plane.

"Saab and the Swedish government have, according to Politiken's information, decided not to send a final offer to the Ministry of Defence," the newspaper said.

Airbus and Boeing Co were also invited to bid. The deadline for the four companies is Monday at 12:00 p.m. CET (1000 GMT).

Saab declined to comment. The Danish Defence Ministry also declined to comment on the story but said it would issue a news release after Monday's deadline.

Denmark has been involved in the development of the F-35 since 1996 and this has led to orders for Danish subcontractors from Lockheed Martin.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive defence programme in U.S. history and Denmark is one of nine partner nations involved.

The plane is designed to replace thousands of aging F-16s and other warplanes. (Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen and Teis Jensen; editing by Jason Neely)

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