Despite the green light, the naysayers have already singled out the F-35 with Swiss Social Democrat parliamentarian Roger Nordmann telling Swiss public television that it is “out of the question to buy the American F-35s, which are the most expensive.”. Previously he served as managing editor for Defense News. The JAS-39, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Lockheed Martin F … (Image credit: Alessandro Fucito). Neighboring Typhoon operators like Germany are offering training opportunities away from the noise-conscious Swiss in their own countries. The government will then evaluate the bids throughout the first half of 2021 and make a decision on the aircraft type and missile defense hardware by June. The F-35’s CPFH has been a topic among program partner nations as well as the Swiss who acknowledge that at $35,000 per hour, it is almost twice as expensive as its European and American competitors. 26 June 2020. Swiss Air Force F/A-18s routinely do, fulfilling their air defense/air policing mission. Bottom line, 4th gen-plus candidates do not have the degree of survivability and potential for mission growth a true 5th gen fighter like the F-35 can offer.”. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. The voter turnout was 59.4 percent, according to figures published online Sunday evening by the Federal Chancellery. Both projects only reached the prototype stage and ultimately both were cancelled. F-35A. MBDA uses micro-drone as a spotter for its anti-tank missile, Biden proposing 5-year extension of nuke treaty with Russia, says US official, Elbit UK to make new target-marking kits for British foot soldiers, Macron calls on Biden for greater US military involvement, Hensoldt buys Austrian AI specialist Sail Labs to boost its sensor-fusion portfolio. In the 1950's the Swiss worked on the development of two domestically designed and produced jet combat aircraft for the Swiss Air Force, the EFW N-20 Aiguillon (Sting) fighter and the FFA P-16 ground attack fighter. Reporters Roundtable: Defending the Capitol, Losing an edge in irregular warfare, leaps in missile defense - Defense News Weekly, 01.10.21, https://www.defensenews.com © 2021 Sightline Media Group, The F-35 and other warplanes descend on Switzerland this spring, Capitol riots aftermath, and a new push for counter-drone efforts - Defense News Weekly 01.17.21. The Swiss would have access to an F-35 Information Center of Excellence, an in-country data center allowing for Swiss companies to test their cyber capabilities in a secure environment and to look at information exchanged within the F-35 network. U.S. Stealth Drone Gets Sensor Pod To ‘See First, Strike First’ In Air-To-Air Combat, Biden Must Move Fast And Kill The Freedom Class LCS, Art Is Cheap, Aircraft Carriers Are Expensive—Russian Shipyard Dreams Up Wacky New Flattop, Four Reasons The Navy’s Bold Plans For Its Surface Fleet Are Doomed In The Biden Era, Does Britannia Rule The Waves Again? “The vote represents a long-term investment in the security of the Swiss population and infrastructure,” she said. By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. Among the questions, one will concern the acquisition of new fighter jets for the Swiss Air Force. Apart from buying new jets, modernising Switzerland’s air defences also means investing in a new ground-based air defence system – without which the armed forces would be “unable to protect our country and people from airborne attacks”. Wafer-thin majority approves new fighter jets The air force flirted with a second defeat in six years before scraping over the line. Flying American equipment, as the Swiss Air Force currently does, brings interoperability and diplomatic benefits. Boeing's Super Hornet could be a logical successor but Lockheed Martin's F-35A is more advanced. “This could include acting as battle managers for teams of unmanned aircraft.” He adds that the F-35’s defensive air chops meet or exceed those of the other candidates. the Swiss Alps during an evaluation by the Swiss Air Force in 2019. The country’s longstanding commitment to neutrality means its air force really only does air defense. The result was different this past September. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. She said that the purchase of new fighter planes is key to the future of the Swiss Armed Forces. There was 49.9 percent, or 1,597,030 votes, against. Given the F-35’s special ground infrastructure requirements (hangars, ALIS support system, secure mission planning), additional costs would logically be expected. Switzerland has operated the American fighter since the ... [+] mid-1990s. II is the only 5th Generation option for Switzerland's "Air 2030" fighter acquisition. Dassault hasn’t disclosed its Rafale pricing or offsets but historically tight relations between France and Switzerland as well as daily cross-border business suggest the French could have an edge. “In their Air 2030 upgrade program they are looking for a combined defensive air network. The Lightning II is also headed in the right direction in terms of volume, support and cost per flight hour (CPFH), Lockheed’s campaign manager asserts. The Hunter was upgraded several times and was used mainly as an attack aircraft by … As a former USAF F-16 pilot, Robinson says that he “would have loved to be sure the offensive air didn’t know where I was in my defensive counter-air role.”, But he recognizes that scanning Switzerland for air defense aircraft taking off from known locations isn’t a tough job. Switzerland would be the European hub for such work and take on unspecified engine and airframe sustainment projects for its own operations and possibly others. In a previous competition the Saab Gripen E was selected to replace the F-5, but the Swiss public rejected the purchase of a new fighter in a referendum in 2014. Boeing's Super Hornet could be a logical successor but Lockheed Martin's F-35A is more advanced. In fact, the Swiss government is requiring that the selected provider must place orders with Swiss firms worth 60% of the contract value. In 2014 the Swiss public voted to reject the purchase of Saab JAS-39 Gripens to replace the Hornets. At cruise speed (approximately 470 knots), an F-35A could fly north to south across the country in about 15 minutes and west to east in about 24 minutes. A USAF 34th Fighter Squadron F-35A lands at Payerne Air Base in western Switzerland. NKF is intended to replace the Swiss air force’s Northrop F-5E/F Tiger IIs and Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornets. Critics assert that these and others would push the bill for F-35s to $27 billion (CHF 24 billion). “Some people don’t see stealth as a really big benefit. Fielding a 5th-gen stealth fighter for a straight ahead defensive counter air mission may seem a contradiction in terms but the Swiss have a history of independent and often peculiar choices. The Swiss have kicked off flying season for the five types of combat aircraft under consideration to replace the country's aging fleet, with several demonstrations scheduled between now and early July. He stresses that Lockheed’s proposal includes 40 aircraft (rather than the 36 reported) with significant industrial offset, priced within the $6.5 billion budget. The government has confirmed plans to acquire new fighter jets for the Swiss air force for no more than CHF6 billion ($6.1 billion) over the next few years. A huge presence of National Guard troops descends on the U.S. capital in the wake of a violent storming of the Capitol building on Jan. 6, as authorities prepare for more threats during the inauguration. The F-35’s reputation is built on its ability to penetrate sophisticated air defense environments, strike, and provide networked information to other aircraft, land and sea platforms. The company is already working with two Swiss optics suppliers and additional opportunities could theoretically extend to other Swiss industries like its depressed precision timepiece sector. Swiss set date for fighter referendum. 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