Denmark's prime minister has appointed veteran, center-right politician Peter Christensen as the Scandinavian country's new defense minister after his predecessor resigned amid a scandal.

The 40-year-old former taxation minister and member of parliament will be in charge of finalizing talks as the NATO member decides on the purchase of up to 30 new fighter jets to replace an aging fleet of F-16s. The deal is expected to be worth more than 30 billion kroner ($4.5 billion).

Christensen's appointment Wednesday came a day after Carl Holst resigned from the position after admitting using a political aide whose salary was paid by taxpayers to help with his parliamentary election campaign in June.

It was Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen's first scandal since he took office following the June 18 elections.