Switzerland kicked off the fly competition last April for the five types of combat aircraft under consideration (Eurofighter Typhoon, the Boeing F-18 Super Hornet, the Dassault Rafale, the Lockheed Martin F-35A and the Saab Gripen E) to replace its ageing fleet of F-5 fighter jets, and older model F/A-18 Legacy Hornet fighters at Payerne Air Base, Bern.
“In the previous Swiss fighter aircraft procurement process, Saab offered Switzerland Gripen E in a joint procurement with Sweden. At the time, the Gripen E time plan was aligned to meet the Swiss requirement for IOC in 2021,” Saab’s press release states. “When Switzerland decided to stop its acquisition of new fighters in 2014, the time plan was changed and adapted after Swedish and Brazilian requirements.
“At the time of delivery, Gripen E will provide the Swiss Air Force with the very latest available technology integrated into a mature and robust platform that meets all the Swiss needs. Gripen E stands out among the contenders in the Swiss fighter procurement as the newest aircraft system.
The Gripen E programme progressed according to plan, with production on-going and customer deliveries starting this year. The latest technologies are being incorporated to provide air forces with operational capabilities designed to defeat the threats of today but also the future. Key milestones achieved during the past six months include flights with IRIS-T and Meteor, as well as the third Gripen E aircraft’s first flight. However, the Swiss Ministry Defense moved to issue RFP for four manufactures and Saab Gripen has been left out of the competition.
Currently, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Dassault Rafale and the Lockheed Martin F-35A have already been evaluated and entered in the second phase of RFP process by the Ministry of Defense.
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