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Switzerland signs for F-35s

Seen in Australian service, the F-35A will enter Swiss service from 2027. (Commonwealth of Australia)

Switzerland has signed for 36 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, cementing the Air2030 selection that was made in 2021.

The Swiss Federal Council announced the order on 19 September, with the deal signed by National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger and Swiss F-35A programme manager Darko Savic.

“The procurement for the purchase of the 36 F-35A amounts to CHF6.035 billion [USD6.24 billion], and thus lies within the limits of the maximum financial volume approved by the Swiss electorate,” the council said.

The agreement, which will see the aircraft delivered between 2027 and 2030, includes mission-specific equipment, weapons and ammunition, a logistics package, mission planning systems, training systems, and initial training. “Furthermore, the cost for the integration into the Swiss command-and-control system, for support services by industry, a risk amount, the inflation in the country of manufacturer, the US, as well as the VAT on imports are also included,” the council statement said.

As noted in the announcement, Switzerland is procuring the aircraft via the US government's Foreign Military Sales programme, with the council saying, “The prices and contractual conditions are defined bindingly in this contract and are also enforced by means of strict supervision.”

Further to the deal for the aircraft and their associated equipment, Savic also signed the offset agreement with Lockheed Martin. “This forms the basis for the US manufacturer to conduct offset businesses with the Swiss industry. In this manner, Swiss companies receive contracts with a volume of around CHF2.9 billion,” the council said.

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