Mollis Airport was previously a Swiss Air Force base and was stereotyped for a famous country build hard military facilities in the mountains. The Mollis aircraft command and hangar center was built on the nearby mountainside, providing good protection against sudden attacks. The aircraft must cross the nearest road to get from their shelter to the main runway.
Although the Swiss Air Force stopped operating from Mollis years ago, the Meiringen Air Base, which has a similar “airplane cave”, is still in use. Other remaining fighter jet bases from the service, Payerne and Emmen Air Bases, are both located in more open areas in the country. Meiringen is also located near Axalp-Ebenfluh, which hosts other annual air shows in Switzerland, the Fliegerschiessen Axalp.
Zigermeet last year mainly appeared about two months after Switzerland ended evaluations of five different fighter jets in the country as part of Air 2030 program. The Swiss Air Force is looking for replacements for the remaining two Cold War eras F-5E / F Tiger II fighter jets and F / A-18C / D Hornets, which were last acquired in the 1990s.
Rafale is one of the aircraft that is currently in the Air 2030 tender process. This competition also includes the Eurofighter Typhoon, Boeing F-18E / F Super Hornet, and Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter. Saab also proposed Gripen E for consideration, but did not participate in last year’s fly-off. In 2014, the Swiss government announced it would buy Gripen Es as a replacement for F-5 and F / A-18, but the plan failed after a public referendum oppose buying.
The Swiss government wants to make a final decision about the winner of the Air 2030 competition either later this year or early next year. Depending on the result, Rafales might become a more common sight in the Swiss sky, although they might not always make their agility spectacular.
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