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Switzerland formally launches new fighter jet acquisition process

World Aviation Defense & Security News - Switzerland
Switzerland formally launches new fighter jet acquisition process
By Nathan Gain

Switzerland’s Federal Council on Nov. 8, 2017, formally allowed the country’s Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) to launch a US$8 bn project that will renew the Swiss airspace protection, toward the lower end of three options previously considered.
Switzerland formally launches new fighter jet purchase process 640 001A Swiss Air Force F/A-18C fighter jet
Besides a new surface-to-air missile defense system, the DDPS will now open a tender to replace its ageing fleet of fighter jets with around 40 new platforms. “The current protection means will reach the end of their service life in the coming years,” the DPPS stated in an official statement. While the 30 remaining F/A-18C/D flying with the Swiss Air Force should remain operational until around 2030, only 26 of the 53 outdated F-5 Tiger II are still fit to fly today.

To meet its engagement, the Swiss Federal Council, plans to raise themilitary spending ceiling in the coming years. According to the official statement, the military budget would have to benefit from an annual growth of about 1.4%.

According to the DDPS, future tender will include offset condition in which “foreign suppliers must compensate 100% of the contract value by placing orders with Swiss industry”. “Such orders serve the economy of our country, promote jobs creation and allow Swiss companies to remain at the forefront of future technology,” the DDPS said.

By Feb. 2018, the DPPS will send an RFI to Airbus, Boeing, Dassault, Lockheed Martin and Saab. After a possible referendum, the Federal Council vows to take a decision, probably in 2020, on the type of combat aircraft. The winning aircraft should be delivered by 2025.