Until and unless new fighters arrive, Switzerland is depending more and more heavily on its 33 Swiss Luftwaffe F/A-18C/D fighters (26 F/A-18Cs, 7 F/A-18D 2-seat), in order to handle air sovereignty and policing over the nation.
In order to keep them up to date, programs like “Upgrade 21” and “Upgrade 25” continue to add to their capabilities. Upgrade 21 included a successful trip to the USA, which allowed them to use American weapon ranges to test the integration of their new AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles with their existing Hornet fleet. Those will go well with Switzerland’s JHMCS helmet-mounted sights, which were also part of Upgrade 21. A December 2007 request to the US DSCA placed the total potential cost of Upgrade 25 Phase 1 at over $500 million. The Upgrade 25 request, subsequent political developments, and follow-on contracts include: