The Swiss authorities has mentioned it needs to purchase 36 F-35A fighter jets from American producer Lockheed Martin, a choice critics have mentioned is simply too costly for Switzerland and makes it overly reliant on the US.
Lockheed Martin beat different contenders for the contract, together with the multinational Eurofighter constructed by Italy’s Leonardo, the Rafale from French firm Dassault, and the Tremendous Hornet from US producer Boeing.
In its assertion on Wednesday, the Swiss authorities additionally revealed it had determined to buy the Patriot surface-to-air missile system from one other US producer, Raytheon, which beat competitors from France’s Eurosam.
“An analysis has revealed that these two programs supply the very best total profit on the lowest total value,” the federal government’s assertion learn.
“The Federal Council is assured that these two programs are probably the most appropriate for shielding the Swiss inhabitants from air threats sooner or later.”
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A fleet of 36 jets could be sufficient to cowl the internationally impartial, alpine nation throughout “extended state of affairs of heightened tensions”, the federal government added.
A cap of six billion Swiss francs ($6.5 billion) has been set for the acquisition of the jets, an quantity which was backed by the general public in a vote final yr.
Nevertheless, the conservative authorities’s pursuit of latest fighter jets has drawn criticism from opposition events, the center-left Social Democrats (SP), left-wing Greens, in addition to the marketing campaign group, Group for a Switzerland With out an Military.
The teams have backed a public referendum on the Lockheed Martin deal, claiming that the jets are too dear, not technically sound and may be monitored by US intelligence, thus threatening Switzerland’s impartial foreign-policy stance.
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“The American jets are just too costly,” SP member Priska Seiler Graf mentioned in response to the federal government’s choice, noting that the maintenance prices over time would even be excessive.
“We should always search a European answer … we don’t wish to be depending on america,” she added.
A referendum on the deliberate buy of the F-35A fighter jets wouldn’t be the primary such nationwide ballot in Switzerland. In 2014, the general public voted to reject shopping for Gripen jets from Swedish producer Saab.
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