Sunday, January 17, 2021

Swiss Air Force’ F/A-18s Finally Achieves Full Operational Capability To Protect The Landlocked Country

The Swiss Air Force is now finally attained full operational readiness to protect the country with F/A-18 fighter jets. In a statement issued on 29th December, the Swiss military announced the round-the-clock quick-reaction availability of two F-18s for protection of the nation’s airspace.

“From now on, the air police service will be on call 24 hours a day to guarantee the security and the sovereignty over Swiss airspace,” the statement said.

Before this announcement, the Swiss Air Force used to be available only from 8:00 AM till 12:00 PM, and after ‘lunch break’ from 13:30-17:30 PM, that too only on weekdays. The force had been criticized and mocked the world over for its inability to maintain operational readiness.

The incapability came to highlight during a painful and embarrassing incident when the airforce could not respond to a plane hijacking in February 2014, as the alert was sounded after the working hours of the service.

During the incident, 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.”

Subsequently, from 4 January 2016, a pair of Swiss F/A-18 Hornets were kept at 15 minute QRA readiness between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm on weekdays. This was increased as of 2 January 2017 to the same hours daily.

In September 2020, the country voted for the modernization of its air force in a nationwide referendum, approving a $6.5 billion fighter jet procurement program. The referendum was ‘won’ by just a thin margin of 50.1% votes.

After the referendum, the United States offered its F-35 Lightning II and F/A-18E/F fighter jets to the Swiss Government. However, no decision has been made yet as the planes are also competing with Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon for the order.

The new 15-minute quick reaction alert capability means that two fully armed F/A-18 Hornets would be airborne within 15 minutes of the alert, based at Militärflugplatz Emmen and at Payerne Air Base (the main base for QRA operations). During this time, the presence of F/A-18s will be steadily increased to full strength at permanent readiness.

Featured

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Condemns Attack On Female Judges; Urges Taliban To End Violence

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a statement said the terrorist attack and continued violence is contrary to Islamic guidance and urged the Taliban to...

Why Pakistan Keeps Calling India’s Ruling Party BJP’s Parent Body RSS A Terror Group?

Pakistan has urged the United Nations Security Council to designate India’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) -- the parent organization of the ruling Bharatiya Janata...

Why China’s Dream Of Establishing Overseas Military Base In At-Least 12 Nations Could Soon Turn Into A Nightmare? 

Contrary to the apprehensions of the US Department of Defense that China is wooing 12 countries to make them agree to host its military...

Tejas vs Sukhoi: Why India’s LCA Tejas Is ‘Definitely Better’ Than Russian Su-30 MKI Jets? Expert Analysis

As India takes a great leap forward with a mega deal on home-grown Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the question is how would they...

Declassified Report Shows How US Wants To Co-Opt India Into Its Anti-China Strategy ‘For Next 50 Years’

The US has declassified a confidential report highlighting the importance of India in the Indo-Pacific and how Washington plans to decimate China in the...