Airbus and the Federal Republic of Germany submitted their official offer to the Swiss Federal Office of Armaments armasuisse for the sale of Eurofighter aircraft to Switzerland seeking 36 combat aircraft and ground-based air defenses for $8.1 billion.
In July 2018, Switzerland invited five companies – Saab (Gripen), Dassault (Rafale), Airbus (Eurofighter), Boeing (Super Hornet) and Lockheed Martin (F-35A) – to submit their bids to replace its ageing fleet of fighter jets and ground-based defences under its Air 2030 Program.
The manufacturers had until January 2019 to submit an offer, after which the planes will undergo tests and a second tender round will be opened, with the plan to finish the assessment by the end of 2020.
Switzerland wants to have a single price for four additional aircraft, with a budget of 6 billion Swiss francs. It is asking for an offset commitment of 60% of the purchase price.
The new aircraft would replace the current Northrop F-5 Tigers and F/A-18s which are scheduled to be retired in the 2020s.
In a release Wednesday, Airbus said the offer was prepared in cooperation with the other Eurofighter nations as well as the industrial partners Leonardo and BAE Systems, and meets the requirements of the so called new combat aircraft (Neues Kampfflugzeug – NKF) procurement process implemented by Switzerland to replace its old jets.
With the acquisition of the Eurofighter, the Federal Republic of Germany is offering Switzerland the opportunity to deepen its existing military partnership, particularly with regard to the joint training of the two air forces. With the Eurofighter, Switzerland will gain full autonomy in the use, maintenance and application of the data from its aircraft, Airbus said in a release.
Only a few days ago, Germany itself signed the contract for the procurement of 38 Eurofighters from the latest Tranche 4 and is offering Switzerland the opportunity to lay the foundations for even closer political, economic and security cooperation by procuring the same type of aircraft.
Switzerland last fought a short war in 1847. The country has struggled to convince its citizens to back a deal for new planes. This September, Swiss citizens today voted to approve the purchase of CHF6 billion ($6.4 billion) worth fighters by the country’s air force that had been challenged to a referendum by pacifists and left-wing political parties.
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