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.
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.