Lockheed F-35 overthrows competition in Swiss fighter contest

Washington — Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Wins Swiss $ 6.5 billion fighter competitionDefeated entrants from Eurofighter, Dassault and Boeing.

During the course of the program, the government plans to spend up to CHF 6 billion (US $ 6.5 billion) to replace the aging Hornet fleet with 36 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing models, the government said Wednesday. Announced in.

Switzerland will also purchase five Patriot missile defense systems from Raytheon Technologies, which defeated France’s Eurosam SAMP / T system.

This victory was Lockheed’s massive coup d’etat, strengthening the company’s F-35 sales campaign in Europe and the Euro produced by a consortium of Leonardo of Italy, BAE Systems of the United Kingdom and Airbus on behalf of Spain. It hit the Fighter Typhoon hard. And Germany. Lockheed also defeated Dassault Rafale and Boeing’s F / A-18E / F Super Hornet.

In a news release announcing the decision, the Swiss Federal Council said the F-35 promised the best performance at the lowest price, and Lockheed’s proposal was $ 2.16 billion less than the closest competition in its 30-year forecast.

The F-35, on the other hand, was superior to Rafale, Super Hornet and typhoons in terms of effectiveness, product support and cooperation. Parliament specifically noted the viability and situational awareness of the Joint Strike Fighter as a selling point that was considered favorable to the Swiss Air Force’s aviation police mission.

“In terms of effectiveness, the F-35A achieved the best results, including a brand new, highly powerful and comprehensively networked system for protecting and monitoring airspace. That’s why, “said Congress.

Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Vice President and F-General Manager, said: 35 programs. “This choice makes Switzerland the 15th country to participate in the F-35’s record program and joins several European countries to further strengthen the world’s air power and security.”

The F-35’s victory was predicted by the Swiss broadcaster SRF. Reported last week The F-35 got the highest score in the performance evaluation. According to the SRF, Switzerland can buy more F-35s on a budget than competing aircraft.

However, political and industrial considerations also influenced the decision. Through competition, the Swiss government has revealed that its competitors must offer a strong package of offsets aimed at strengthening the Swiss defense industry base. Congress has pointed out that the F-35 did not achieve the best performance in the field of offsets.

Although the Swiss decision did not indicate which competitor offered the best offset package, Airbus provided the Swiss government with a 700-page document on economic offsets. Reuters reported The proposal was made on June 27th. Perform the final assembly of the typhoon Swiss.

Lockheed proposed to meet industry participation requirements Offset batch This includes domestic production of approximately 400 F-35 canopies and transparent films, the creation of a maintenance hub in Switzerland to maintain the canopies and transparent films of European F-35 users, and the creation of an outstanding cyber center in Switzerland. It will be.

He also proposed sweetening the pot with the option of final assembly of four F-35 aircraft at Emmen’s existing Ruag facility. However, company officials have admitted that it adds a “significant cost” to the program.

Meanwhile, Boeing emphasized the ease of transition from Hornet to Super Hornet, saying Switzerland could save costs by reusing up to 60% of its “existing intellectual infrastructure.”

Boeing said in a statement that he was disappointed with the Swiss decision.

“We believe the Boeing F / A-18 Block III Super Hornet is the right choice for Switzerland because it brings unmatched capabilities and lifecycle value to the Swiss Air Force. It is an industrial partnership and strong service. We look forward to a full report to better understand the decision. “

The Swiss decision is unlikely to face headwinds in the United States. Clear preemptively Sales of both the F-35 and F / A-18 to Switzerland in September 2020.

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