Switzerland Signs F-35 Procurement Contract


Gifted One
Nov 18, 2020
With the deal now formalized, 36 F-35s will be delivered beginning from 2027.



File photo of A U.S. Air Force during the Air2030 evaluation. (Photo: Armasuisse)

The Swiss Government confirmed that the procurement program for the F-35 Lightning II has finally been signed on Sept. 19, 2022. The contract, with a value of 6.2 billion USD, will provide the Swiss Air Force with 36 F-35s to replace the current fleet of F/A-18 Hornets and F-5 Tigers. The F-35 emerged as the winner of the Air2030 evaluation program that was aimed at selecting the replacement for the Hornets and Tigers.

The National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger and the Swiss F-35A Program Manager Darko Savic signed the contract at Armasuisse in Bern, while the US authorities have already signed the contract. The procurement, which lies within the limits of the maximum financial volume approved by the Swiss electorate, will also cover mission specific equipment, weapons and ammunition, a logistics package, mission planning systems, training systems and initial training, as well as the integration into the Swiss command and control system.

In addition to that, the government said that the two countries have negotiated a specific clause and signed a separate declaration which establishes the fixed price nature of the agreement. At the same time, the head of Air2030, Peter Winter, and the F-35 Program Manager, Darko Savic, signed the offset agreement with Lockheed Martin that will allow Swiss companies to receive contracts with a volume of around 3 billion USD.

The Swiss Federal Council based its decision on the extensive technical evaluation, which included four candidates for a new fighter aircraft (Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, Boeing Super Hornet and the Lockheed Martin F-35) and the F-35 achieved the highest overall benefit and at the same time the lowest overall costs.

The Swiss Air Force has also announced on Mar. 24, 2022, that Switzerland has come to an agreement with the US government and has stipulated that up to 28 of the 36 aircraft in total will be produced in Italy by the Leonardo company. That means at least 24 aircraft will be made in Italy. For four aircraft, Lockheed Martin, as the manufacturer of the F-35A, is currently clarifying whether they can be finally assembled as part of an offset project at RUAG in Switzerland; if this is not possible, they will also be produced in Cameri.

September 20, 2022 by Stefano D'Urso

Switzerland government says referendum on US fighter jets not possible


A general view shows the Swiss National Council during its Winter Parliament Session in Bern, Switzerland.

The Federal Council of Switzerland said a public referendum on the controversial procurement of F-35A fighters is not possible prior to US offer expiration date.

The controversial procurement of F-35A fighters cannot be put to a referendum before the US sales offer expires on March 31, 2023, according to the Federal Council of Switzerland, which said this on Wednesday.

This Thursday, the petition from a leftist alliance asking him to annul the $6.2 billion purchase of 36 fighter jets passed the necessary level of 100,000 signatures, and the government accepted it for review.
But the government contended that the "schedule requested by the authors to hold the referendum before the offer expires in March 2023 is impossible to meet." 

However, given the 100,000 signature petition, the alliance was outraged by the government's statement which they argued was an attempt to avoid a referendum.
"It is an insult to more than 100,000 signatories… Considering the numerous scandals and irregularities surrounding the fighter jet deal, it is no wonder that the people are extremely skeptical about F-35," said Marionna Schlatter, a Swiss lawmaker from the Green party. 

Despite the fact that Switzerland takes pride in its impartiality and direct democracy, which allows its citizens to elect their government directly, the government has stated that a referendum this time is not possible. The administration asserted that delaying the replacement of the fleet's 55 ailing planes would have detrimental effects on the country's security.

I thought this report would appear soon.  Switzerland has always been the dark horse, always neutral.  All along for many years, the population has being preparing to defend itself from outside aggression.  As they say...Don’t ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance or my kindness for weakness. Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. – Dalai Lamado.

I used to have this in my signature, I think I might resurrect it..... There you go,my retro sig is now active.

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Switzerland is a small nation, bordering on European nations that have fought each other in bloody battles for centuries.
The Swiss governments have always considered neutrality the best defense weapon to prevent some powerful neighboring state (for example Germany Vs France, Austria Vs Italy) from attacking the enemy nation from behind, crossing (it would be better to say: invading) the Helvetic Republic (as happened during the First World War to Belgium, invaded by soldiers of the Germanic Empire, despite Belgian neutrality).
During the Second World War, Switzerland found itself completely surrounded (Austria, Italy, France) by nations allied to Nazi Germany. Neutrality was the only way to prevent Swiss democracy from being attacked by Nazi-fascist troops. The Swiss government was not intimidated by the threats of the German dictator and was able to convince him that the invasion would involve an extremely high price in terms of soldiers killed and vehicles destroyed. Hitler's defeat did not put an end to Switzerland's danger of a potential new enemy on its borders. In fact, the Soviet troops had occupied Austria and did not withdraw before 1955. To make matters worse was the awareness that the Soviet Army, since 1949, had the atomic bomb in his arsenal.
To minimize this deadly threat, the Swiss government ordered the construction of nuclear bunkers capable of housing all the inhabitants of the country and protecting strategic infrastructure, vital in the event of war.
To avert the risks of an enemy invasion, Switzerland relies on two fundamental rules:
1 neutrality,
2 A well-equipped and trained army.

The alpine orographic conformation also helps to discourage an invasion. However, a poorly armed army could do little to oppose the invader.

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