Switzerland earmarks Swfr6 billion for fighter replacement

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Switzerland earmarks Swfr6 billion for fighter replacement

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  • 17 MAY, 2019
  • SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM
  • BY: MICHAEL GUBISCH
  • LONDON
  • SWITZERLAND EARMARKS SWFR6 BILLION FOR FIGHTER REPLACEMENT
Switzerland's government has allocated Swfr6 billion ($5.85 billion) to replace by 2030 the nation's ageing Boeing F/A-18 and Northrop F-5 fighters as part of a wider overhaul of its air defences.

The government states that the federal defence department has been tasked to draft by early September a procurement proposal, which has then to be approved first by the country's parliament and then voters via a referendum.

However, that public vote will only cover the programme's budget – not the type and number of aircraft to be procured.

That is to be decided by the government – based on expert advice – after a referendum, says Viola Amherd, the head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.

In January, the government received proposals covering the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-35A, and Saab Gripen E. Ground and flight tests of the candidate aircraft at Payerne air base are scheduled to be completed in July.

Under the replacement plan, foreign suppliers will have to offset 60% of the contract value – 20% directly and 40% indirectly – via Switzerland's defence and security industry.

Cirium's Fleets Analyzer shows that the Swiss air force has 30 F/A-18s and 36 F-5s in operation.

The F/A-18s will reach the end of their service life by 2030, while the F-5s can only be operated for air policing operations in daylight and good visibility, the government says. It argues that the F-5s would "not stand a chance against a modern opponent".

In addition to the fighter replacement, the government has allocated Swfr2 billion for the procurement of a new ground-based air defence system with a longer range than existing equipment.

Amherd asserts that without new aircraft and a new ground-based air defence system, the nation will not be able to ensure airspace security.

 

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Saab’s Gripen is out of the running in Swiss aircraft race
By: Sebastian Sprenger
14 June 2019

8057

The new "E" version of the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen multirole fighter is presented by Saab on May 18, 2016. (Anders Wiklund/AFP via Getty Images)

COLOGNE, Germany — The Gripen fighter just can’t seem to land in Switzerland, as its manufacturer Saab has dropped out of the race to supply the country with a new fleet of combat aircraft.

The company, which is based in Sweden, issued a statement on its website Thursday saying it will no longer partake in flight demonstrations of the Gripen jet planned for June 24-28 in Payerne, Switzerland. Saab had planned to present a developmental Gripen E plane and possibly an older but already fielded "C" variant.

According to the company, the decision came after the Swiss procurement agency, armasuisse, “formally recommended” that Saab stay home. “The reason is that the flight tests have been designed to only evaluate aircraft that are operationally ready in 2019," the statement reads.

Saab goes on to say that Switzerland should have known all along about the status of the Gripen E development. The jet “will enter into operational service years before Switzerland has scheduled deliveries and will meet all its defined capabilities,” the company claims.

The likelihood of the jet failing one or more of the seven test missions designed for all competitors had become apparent over some time, an armasuisse spokesman told Defense News. From a Swiss perspective, nudging Saab to retreat was meant to be a face-saving move for the Swedes.

The Swiss have not revealed where the Gripen E offer was thought to be lacking, saying only that all the components and sensors must have the highest technology-readiness level in current aircraft configurations.

The elimination marks the second defeat for the Gripen in the neutral country of Switzerland in recent years. The population voted down a procurement of the jet in 2014 in an acrimonious referendum that the government wants to avoid repeating at all costs. This time around, officials want to put the $6 billion-plus aircraft acquisition up for a population-wide vote only in general terms, leaving the choice of a model up to government analysts later on.

The remaining lineup of contenders are the F-18 Super Hornet, the Eurofighter, the Rafale and the F-35A.

 

Eagle1

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Saab’s Gripen is out of the running in Swiss aircraft race
By: Sebastian Sprenger
14 June 2019

View attachment 8057
The new "E" version of the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen multirole fighter is presented by Saab on May 18, 2016. (Anders Wiklund/AFP via Getty Images)

COLOGNE, Germany — The Gripen fighter just can’t seem to land in Switzerland, as its manufacturer Saab has dropped out of the race to supply the country with a new fleet of combat aircraft.

The company, which is based in Sweden, issued a statement on its website Thursday saying it will no longer partake in flight demonstrations of the Gripen jet planned for June 24-28 in Payerne, Switzerland. Saab had planned to present a developmental Gripen E plane and possibly an older but already fielded "C" variant.

According to the company, the decision came after the Swiss procurement agency, armasuisse, “formally recommended” that Saab stay home. “The reason is that the flight tests have been designed to only evaluate aircraft that are operationally ready in 2019," the statement reads.

Saab goes on to say that Switzerland should have known all along about the status of the Gripen E development. The jet “will enter into operational service years before Switzerland has scheduled deliveries and will meet all its defined capabilities,” the company claims.

The likelihood of the jet failing one or more of the seven test missions designed for all competitors had become apparent over some time, an armasuisse spokesman told Defense News. From a Swiss perspective, nudging Saab to retreat was meant to be a face-saving move for the Swedes.

The Swiss have not revealed where the Gripen E offer was thought to be lacking, saying only that all the components and sensors must have the highest technology-readiness level in current aircraft configurations.

The elimination marks the second defeat for the Gripen in the neutral country of Switzerland in recent years. The population voted down a procurement of the jet in 2014 in an acrimonious referendum that the government wants to avoid repeating at all costs. This time around, officials want to put the $6 billion-plus aircraft acquisition up for a population-wide vote only in general terms, leaving the choice of a model up to government analysts later on.

The remaining lineup of contenders are the F-18 Super Hornet, the Eurofighter, the Rafale and the F-35A.

 

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