(en) The US approves the sale of fighter jets and missiles to Switzerland
On September 27, Swiss voters approved a CHF6 billion funding package that would allow the army to continue purchasing new fighter jets to replace its aging fleet of F-5 Tiger and F / A-18 Hornet jets by 2030.The government will decide next year between Eurofighter from Airbus, Rafale from Dassault France, Boeing F / A-18 Super Hornet, or Lockheed Martin F35-A.
On Wednesday, in a move that will pave the way for the export of one of the US jets, the US State Department approved a potential sale of 40 F-35A spare parts, ammunition and training for a total estimated cost of $ 6.58 billion.
The State Department also approved the potential sale of 40 F / A-18E / F Super Hornet jets, spare parts and training ammunition and related equipment for an estimated $ 7.45 billion cost.
The notification process reminds the US Congress that the sale to a foreign country has been approved, but does not indicate that a contract has been signed or negotiations are complete.
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In addition, the State Department approved the potential sale of five Patriot missile systems and related equipment at an estimated cost of $ 2.2 billion.
In the run-up to Sunday’s vote, Swiss activists warned that the government was underestimating the true costs for the new aircraft. When maintenance and other costs are taken into account, the bill will amount to CHF24 billion rather than CHF6, said opponents.
However, proponents of the project say neutral Switzerland needs to modernize its air force fleet to maintain a credible self-defense system and remain independent from other nations.
The group for Switzerland without an Army, which launched a referendum on Sunday with the Social Democrats and Greens, has declared itself ready to launch other initiatives against certain types of fighter aircraft.
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Social Democrat MP Roger Nordmann told Swiss public television, RTS, that even with a narrow ‘Yes’ vote, ‘it is impossible to buy the American F-35, which is the most expensive’. The Greens will also be wary, promised MP Fabien Fivaz.
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