Swiss National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger and the Swiss F-35A Program Manager Darko Savic signed a procurement contract on 19 September for the delivery of 36 Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter aircraft.
The deal is valued at $6.1 billion and includes mission-specific equipment, weapons and ammunition, a logistics package, mission planning systems, training systems and initial training.
The aircraft will be delivered between 2027 and 2030 and will replace the Swiss Air Force’s current fleet of F/A-18 Hornets and F-5 Tigers.
The lower house of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland approved the order for the F-35A fighters on 16 September.
“The American F-35A is the right aircraft for Switzerland,” argued Jacqueline de Quattro of the Liberals (FDP) party. “It’s the cheapest plane, the best from a technological point of view.”
Switzerland joins Canada, Finland and Germany who have also recently opted for the F-35.
The Swiss government chose the fighters in June following a competition which put the F-35 up against Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, France’s Rafale and the Eurofighter.
|Type:||Stealth multirole fighter aircraft|
|Country of origin:||United States|
|First flight:||December 2006|
|In service:||2016 – present|
|Operators:||United States, Australia, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Israel|
|Gross Weight:||22,471 kg|
|Armament:||1 × 25 mm GAU-22/A 4-barrel rotary cannon; 4 × internal stations, 6 × external stations on wings|
|Systems:||AN/APG-81 AESA Radar; Electronic Systems AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) missile warning system; AN/ASQ-239 (Barracuda) electronic warfare system; Harris Corporation Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) communication system|
|Engine:||1 × Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 afterburning turbofan|
|Maximum speed:||Mach 1.6|