Switzerland has sent four manufacturers, including Dassault Aviation, a second request for proposals for the renewal of its fleet of combat aircraft.
Following tests conducted in recent months for the renewal of its fleet of fighter aircraft, Switzerland has sent Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Boeing and Lockheed-Martin the second request for proposals. This request “is based on the analysis of the first proposal and on findings from flight, simulator and ground tests as well as audits with armed forces operating the evaluated fighter aircraft”, explains the DDPS (Switzerland Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sports). The four manufacturers, including Airbus and Dassault Aviation, will therefore have to submit a new proposal before August 2020. It will have to include a price offer for the acquisition of 36 or 40 combat aircraft and defined weapons. Logistics and associated services will also have to be taken into account. This element is qualified by the DDPS as a “binding starting point for detailed negotiations”.
The proposal submitted by manufacturers also have to include a cooperation offer between the armed forces and the procurement authorities of Switzerland and those of the supplier country. Finally, the DDPS asked manufacturers to specify “envisaged or already initiated offset projects”.
The tests carried out in recent months allowed the Swiss army to assess the ability of several fighters — here the Airbus Eurofighter, the Dassault Rafale, the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed-Martin F-35A — to carry out the Air Force missions. Indeed, the Swiss Air Force “must be able to permanently conduct air patrols with at least four aircraft for at least four weeks in order to preserve air sovereignty, prevent unauthorized use and violations of Swiss air space and thus contribute to keep Switzerland out of armed conflict”, underscores the DDPS. Air policing thus remains the keystone activity of Swiss fighters.
Concurrently, still as part of the Air2030 program which also provides for the renewal of the ground-based air defence component, armasuisse has also submitted to Raytheon and Eurosam the second request for proposal, respectively for the Patriot and SAMP/T systems.