Gripin’ in Switzerland: Referendum Shoots New Fighter Deal Down

Swiss F-5Fs

Swiss F-5Fs
(click to view full)

April 23/15: Switzerland is again looking to replace its F-5E light fighters from 2017, with the problem-hit fleet recently seeing a third of its aircraft retired prematurely. When an additional six F-5Es taken offline for repairs return, the Swiss Air Force will have only 54 combat aircraft available for frontline service, 32 of these being F/A-18C/D Hornets.

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Swiss F-5Es(click to view full) While F-5 owners like Brazil, Chile, Thailand, et. al. have opted for comprehensive refurbishment and upgrades, Switzerland is looking to replace 3 of its 5 Tiger II squadrons with new aircraft under its Tiger-Teilersatz TTE program. The new fighters will partner with the 3 squadrons of upgraded F/A-18 C/D Hornets that make up the rest of its fighter fleet. An initial evaluation RFP was issued to 4 contenders, but Boeing’s withdrawal narrowed the selection to Sweden’s Gripen, France’s Rafale, or EADS’ Eurofighter Typhoon. A 2010 suspension of the competition was followed by a measured revival, thanks to the latest budgets – and then by a provisional winner in Sweden’s Gripen. But as one might expect, Switzerland’s left worked hard to derail any purchase. Once the necessary legislative hurdles were overcome, the new Swiss fighters faced a national referendum just like Switzerland’s 1993 buy of F/A-18 Hornets. The difference is that the new acquisition failed to convince voters. DID presents the background, the candidates, and what may come next. The Swiss Competition: Rationale and Process TTE’s Rationale F-5Es, out on loan(click to view full) Switzerland is just under 360 km/ 215 miles wide at its widest […]

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