The Swiss government will decide next year among the Eurofighter from Airbus , the Rafale from France’s Dassault, Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, or the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II.
According to Reuters, Swiss television reported on Sep. 27, 2020 that the country’s voters backed the government’s plan to spend up to 6 billion Swiss francs ($6.46 billion) on new fighter jets in a surprisingly close referendum that was won with a 50.1% majority.
As we have previously explained, a poll for broadcaster SRF showed on Aug. 20, 2020, that Swiss voters were set to approve a 6 billion Swiss franc ($6.6 billion) purchase of new fighter aircraft but with a 58% majority instead of the slim 50,1% which came out from the referendum.
Approving funding in the binding referendum would let the government decide next year which fighter to purchase.
In June 2019 the Swiss Air Force ended the evaluation for the five types of combat aircraft shortlisted (Eurofighter Typhoon, the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Dassault Rafale, the Lockheed Martin F-35A and the Saab Gripen E) under the Air2030 program to replace its ageing fleet of F-5 fighter jets, and older model F/A-18C/D fighters.
As we have previously reported Saab has withdrawn from Air2030 program just days before the company’s Gripen E was due to arrive in the country for flight evaluations.
In a terse communique issued Jun. 13, 2019 Saab said it had been “formally recommended” by the Swiss national armaments agency, Armasuisse, not to participate in the flight trials.
Hence the remaining lineup of contenders are the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Airbus Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale and the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II.
New jets are to be delivered by 2025.
Switzerland had initially chosen the Saab Gripen E fighter but had to cancel that order after a 2014 referendum rejected the choice.