Friday, October 16, 2020

U.S. approves possible sale of F-35 and F/A-18E/F fighters to Switzerland

The U.S. Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Monday it had notified Congress of a possible sale of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft to Switzerland. 

On September 30, the Pentagon’s top arms broker, announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Switzerland of 40 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft for an estimated cost of $6.58 billion and 40 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft for an estimated cost of $7.452 billion.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly European nation that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” DSCA noted.

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It is important to note, however, that U.S. government approval does not mean a country has agreed to purchase the weapons or other systems in question.

The proposed sale will improve Switzerland’s capability to meet current and future threats. Switzerland currently operates the Boeing F/A-18C/D, but that aircraft is reaching end-of-life and will be replaced by the winner of Switzerland’s New Fighter Aircraft competition, for which the F/A-18E/F  and F-35 are being considered.

According to Defense News, Swiss voters have approved a government plan to spend $6.5 billion on new fighter aircraft by a margin of 8,670 votes.

Defence Minister Viola Amherd told reporters she considers the result, however close, a mandate to continue ongoing evaluations of the Eurofighter, the Rafale, the F-18 Super Hornet and the F-35A.

“The vote represents a long-term investment in the security of the Swiss population and infrastructure,” she said.

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Executive Editor

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