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U.S. clears possible sale of 40 F-35A or F/A-18E/F fighters and weapons to Switzerland


As Switzerland has recently opened the competition to replace its aging fleet of F/A-18C/D Hornets, the U.S. State Department has cleared the possible Foreign Military Sale of 40 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs or Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

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U.S. clears possible sale of 40 F 35A or FA 18EF fighters and weapons to Switzerland Switzerland is launching the competition for the replacement of its aging fleet of F/A-18C/D Hornets (Picture source: Swiss Air Force)


On Sept. 30, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Switzerland of 40 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $6.58 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

The Government of Switzerland requested to buy up to 40 F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft; 46 Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines; 40 Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II+ (Plus) Tactical Missiles; 50 Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs); 6 Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Special Air Training Missiles (NATMS); 4 Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Tactical Guidance Units; 10 Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II CATM Guidance Units; 18 KMU-572 JDAM Guidance Kits for GBU-54; 12 Bomb MK-82 500LB, General Purpose; 12 Bomb MK-82, Inert; 12 GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) All-Up Round (AUR); and 8 GBU-53/B SDB II Guided Test Vehicle (GTV).

Also included are Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence/Communications, Navigational, and Identification (C4I/CNI); Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS); Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS); Full Mission Trainer; Weapons Employment Capability and other Subsystems, Features, and Capabilities; F‑35 unique infrared flares; reprogramming center access; F-35 Performance Based Logistics; software development/integration; flight test instrumentation; aircraft ferry and tanker support; Detector Laser DSU-38A/B, Detector Laser DSU-38A(D-2)/B, FMU-139D/B Fuze, KMU-572(D-2)/B Trainer (JDAM), 40 inch Wing Release Lanyard; GBU-53/B SDB II Weapon Load Crew Trainers (WLCT); Cartridge, 25 mm PGU-23/U; weapons containers; aircraft and munitions support and test equipment; communications equipment; spares and repair parts; repair and return support; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documents; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated cost is $6.58 billion.

This proposed sale of F-35s and associated missiles and munitions will replace Switzerland's retiring F/A-18C/D Hornets and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capabilities.

The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, TX; Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, CT; The Boeing Company, St. Charles, MO and Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, AZ. This proposal is being offered in the context of a competition. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Switzerland involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives for technical reviews/support, program management and training over the life of the program. U.S. contractor representatives will be required in Switzerland to conduct Contractor Engineering Technical Services (CETS) and Autonomic Logistics and Global Support (ALGS).

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In the framework of the forthcoming competition for the replacement of the Swiss Air Force's fleet of aging F/A-18C/D Hornets, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Switzerland of 40 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $7.452 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

The Government of Switzerland has requested to buy up to thirty-six 36 F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft; 72 F414-GE-400 engines (installed); 4 F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft; 8 F414-GE-400 engines (installed); 16 F414-GE-400 engines (spares); 44 M61A2 20MM gun systems; 25 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR)/other targeting pod; 55 AN/ALR-67(V)3 Electric Warfare Countermeasures Receiving sets; 55 AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Countermeasures systems; 48 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems – Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS-JTRS); 48 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS); 264 LAU-127E/A guided missile launchers; 48 AN/AYK-29 Distributed Targeting Processor – Networked (DTP-N); 27 Infrared Search and Track (IRST) systems; 40 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical missiles; 50 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs); 6 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder Special Air Training Missiles (NATMs); 4 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical guidance units; 10 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder CATM guidance units; 18 KMU-572 JDAM Guidance Kits for GBU-54; 12 Bomb MK-82 500LB, General Purpose; 12 Bomb MK-82, Inert; 12 GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) All-Up Round (AUR); and 8 GBU-53/B SDB II Guided Test Vehicle (GTV).

Also included are AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars; High Speed Video Network (HSVN) Digital Video Recorder (HDVR); AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles (NVG); AN/AVS-11 Night Vision Cueing Device (NVCD); AN/ALE-47 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Systems; AN/ARC-210 Communication System; AN/APX-111 Combined Interrogator Transponder; AN/ALE-55 Towed Decoys; launchers (LAU-115D/A, LAU-116B/A, LAU118A); Training Aids, Devices and Spares; Technical Data Engineering Change Proposals; Avionics Software Support; Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); Data Transfer Unit (DTU); Accurate Navigation (ANAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation; KIV-78 Dual Channel Encryptor, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF); Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CADs/PADs); Technical Publications; AN/PYQ-10C Simple Key Loader (SKL); Aircraft Spares; other support equipment; Aircraft Armament Equipment (AAE); aircraft ferry; transportation costs; other technical assistance; engineering technical assistance; contractor engineering technical support; logistics technical assistance; Repair of Repairables (RoR); aircrew and maintenance training; contractor logistics support; flight test services; Foreign Liaison Officer (FLO) support; auxiliary fuel tanks, system integration and testing; software development/integration; and other related elements of logistics and program support. For AIM-9X: containers; missile support and test equipment; provisioning; spare and repair parts; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical data; and U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support. For GBU-53/B SDB II and GBU-54: Detector Laser DSU-38A/B, Detector Laser DSU-38A(D-2)/B, FMU-139D/B Fuze, KMU-572(D-2)/B Trainer (JDAM), 40-inch Wing Release Lanyard; GBU-53/B SDB II Weapon Load Crew Trainers (WLCT); weapons containers; munitions support and test equipment; spares and repair parts; repair and return support; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documents; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated cost is $7.452 billion.

Switzerland currently operates the Boeing F/A-18C/D, but that aircraft is reaching end-of-life and will be replaced by the winner of Switzerland’s New Fighter Aircraft competition, for which the F/A-18E/F is being considered. The primary missions of the aircraft and associated weapons will be policing the airspace above Switzerland and providing national defense capabilities. Switzerland will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.

The principal contractors will be The Boeing Company, St. Louis, MO; Northrop Grumman, Los Angeles, CA; Raytheon Company, El Segundo, CA; Raytheon Missile Systems Company, Tucson, AZ; General Electric, Lynn, MA; and The Boeing Company, St. Charles, MO. This proposal is being offered in the context of a competition. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of six additional U.S. contractor representatives to Switzerland on an intermittent basis for a duration of the life of the case to support delivery of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and provide supply support management, inventory control, and equipment familiarization.