Connect with us

Americas

After Germany, Switzerland On-Course To Acquire Stealth F-35 Jets As US Makes Official Proposal

Published

on

In a bid to boost the F-35 sales to NATO allies, the United States government and defense manufacturing giant Lockheed Martin have made an official proposal to the Swiss Government for the 5th-generation aircraft.

The move comes at a key moment after the neutral country’s referendum to acquire new fighter jets replacing the old F/A-18C Hornet airframes, following which the country approved a $6.5 billion budget for the procurement in late September.

Then, the United States was quick to grasp the opportunity to push its aircraft to the Swiss Government, when its State Department approved two possible Foreign Military Sales of forty F-35s (for an estimated cost of $6.58 bn) and thirty-six F/A-18E/F Super Hornets (for an estimated cost of $7.5 bn) each.

Interestingly, this official proposal comes just a day after Germany along with the manufacturing company Airbus officially placed their bid to sell Eurofighter Typhoons to Switzerland. The offer was placed with the support of other Eurofighter nations and the associated companies (BAE Systems and Leonardo).

The French-made Rafales are also in the competition, according to sources.

“We are confident that our F-35 offer is the best and most affordable solution for the Swiss NFA competition,” said Greg Ulmer, F-35 Program vice president and general manager. “We are offering the only 5th generation fighter at the cost of 4th generation aircraft while offering Switzerland an aircraft that will protect Swiss sovereignty for decades to come.”

The Swiss army questions the operational capabilities of the F-35A as part of its Air2030 call for tenders - Meta-Defense.fr

Lockheed Martin also stated that the offer also offers a great opportunity for the Swiss defense industry. “Should the F-35 be selected as the new fighter for Switzerland, this industrial work would take place in all Swiss regions. Swiss industry has the opportunity to compete for direct production of components for use on all F-35s produced, sustainment projects focused on supporting the Swiss Air Force and enhancing Swiss autonomy, and cybersecurity projects directly related to the F-35,” it said.

The Swiss Air Force has been criticized for its ‘office-hours’ only availability. While the radar coverage is 24/7, its aviation components have proved to be incapable of maintaining such operational readiness due to low budget and lack of staff. The service’s availability is from 0600 to 2200 hours local time only (week-days), and during the gap, it relies on the Air Forces of other countries (France and Italy) to carry out sorties over its airspace.

This became painfully clear as the Swiss Luftwaffe was unable to respond to the Ethiopian Airlines ET702 hijacking in 2014 because the incident occurred outside normal office hours, which are 08:00–12:00 and 13:30–17:00 Monday to Friday; a Swiss Air Force spokesman stated: “Switzerland cannot intervene because its airbases are closed at night and on the weekend. It’s a question of budget and staffing.”

To counter this issue, the service aims to establish a full-time availability by the end of 2020, implementing a quick reaction alert readiness of two armed F/A-18 fighters. Switzerland currently operates about 30 F-5E and 25 F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

FEATURED

Featured19 mins ago

Indian Aircraft Carrier Vikrant Gears Up For Commissioning As Rafales Compete Against F-18s As Its ‘Flying Machines’

The Indian Navy has completed basin trials for its first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1) Vikrant, the Defense Ministry said on...

J-11-CHINA J-11-CHINA
Asia Pacific3 hours ago

Chinese J-11 Fighter Jets Conduct Large-Scale War Drills Near Indian Border – WATCH

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has conducted a series of extensive exercises with warplanes around a Western Theater Command Air...

Featured6 hours ago

Four Time Faster Than US’ Tomahawks, Why Indian BrahMos Missiles Pose A Grave Risk To China?

The Indian Navy on Tuesday successfully test-fired the anti-ship version of the supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos from stealth destroyer INS...

Asia Pacific6 hours ago

India Falls Back On European Fighter Jets To Counter Rising Menace Of Chinese Swarm Drones

To counter Chinese air defenses in Ladakh and other bordering areas, India has decided to fast-track its swarm drone system,...

S-500-RUSSIA S-500-RUSSIA
Americas16 hours ago

Bad News For F-35 Jets; Russia Set To Unveil ‘Stealth-Killer’ S-500 Missile Systems Next Year

US military experts would be watching anxiously as Russia is all set to enhance its most advanced S-400 missile system...

iranian-scientist iranian-scientist
Featured18 hours ago

Was Israeli Mossad Inspired By Hollywood Movie ‘The Jackal’ To Eliminate Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist? WATCH

Iran claims Israel used a remote-controlled weapon to kill the country’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, on Friday. Another Assassination:...

Imran-Khan Imran-Khan
Featured19 hours ago

Pakistan PM Imran Khan Thanks China For Its Unwavering Stand On Kashmir Issue

Pakistan PM Imran Khan thanked the country’s strategic ally China for its “consistent” and “principled” stand on the longstanding Kashmir...

F-16 F-16
Americas19 hours ago

Canadian Firm To Buy Huge Number Of F-16 Fighter Jets From Israel; Could Exceed The Fleet Strength Of RCAF

The Israeli F-16 fighter jets are the A/B variant and were inducted into the Israel Air Force in the 1980s,...

Pakistan-FDI-china Pakistan-FDI-china
Featured21 hours ago

China, Pakistan Sign New Defense Deal Amid Rising Tensions With Common Foe – India

Amid ongoing tensions with India, China and Pakistan have signed a new military deal aimed to boost military cooperation among...

F18-India-Deal F18-India-Deal
Americas24 hours ago

F-18 Super Hornets To Be Equipped With Hypersonic Missiles With A Striking Range Of Whopping 1600 Km

Australia will be testing a new air-launched hypersonic missile as part of the joint U.S-Australian program under the Southern Cross...

Advertisement
Advertisement