Even though poll ratings had predicted a conclusive result, the referendum wound up hanging in the balance. With fewer than 9,000 votes making the difference, the electorate very narrowly rejected the opponents’ claim that “expensive luxury fighter-planes” were a waste of resources and that a fleet of cheaper jet trainers along with a modern air defense would suffice for the air force to fulfill its core mission of upholding the Swiss airspace’s sovereignty. The survey carried out by gfs.bern found that 39% opposed the acquisition and 3% had no opinion. It was Switzerland's second attempt to develop a domestically designed and manufactured jet fighter, following the EFW N-20. Today, the closest thing Dublin operates to a fighter plane is the Swiss-built Pilatus PC-9 trainer aircraft. For once, rather than voting on a specific aircraft, the electorate had to decide in principle on a credit of 6 billion CHF (approximately 6 billion USD) allocated from the army’s regular budget to buy a new multi-role fighter-jet—with the exact type and number of aircraft yet to be determined. By a margin of fewer than 9,000 votes, Swiss citizens have given a cautious all-clear for a multi-billion purchase of new fighter jets for the air force. However, the Group for a Switzerland without an Army (GSoA), which led the opposition campaign, has already said it will launch a people’s initiative to challenge the government’s choice. The first new aircraft would be delivered in 2018 and the intention was to lease 11 current generation (eight JAS 39Cs/3 JAS 39Ds) Gripen fighters from 2016 to 2020 in order to train Swiss fighter pilots while avoiding expensive upkeep of the F-5s. Combat Aircraft; Mirage III: France: fighter IIIS: 30: retired in 1999 P-51 … Projections over the past weeks had shown clear acceptance for the government-backed plan, which will see the army replace its ageing fleet of F-5 Tigers and F/A-18 jets by 2030. More critically, with the Swiss Armed Forces and the defense ministry now put on notice, the 1993 vote may have led to the unwritten agreement that the government will consult the people for any future aircraft purchase. What will happen next? Lukas Golder of the GfS Bern research institute said on Sunday that the high turnout of urban voters, who are generally more critical of the army, may have driven the close result. 8,670 ‒ that is how many voters it took to tilt the balance in favor of the new procurement. The purchase’s opponents predictably decried this “blind bargain,” but the defense ministry made sure to avoid the mistakes of the previous vote when even some army-friendly politicians had questioned the Gripen’s suitability in the run-up to the vote. Around 5.4 million Swiss citizens, including registered expatriate Swiss, were eligible to take part in the votes. The Air Force wants to buy new fighters, with candidates including the Airbus Eurofighter, French Rafale, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter. The reduction in fighter jets was accompanied by a decrease in the number of operational airbases and mirrored the overall downsizing of Swiss Armed Forces troop levels following the end of the Cold War. This Sunday, the Swiss electorate voted to purchase new fighter aircraft by the end of the decade. The vote is a landmark decision for the future of the Swiss Air Force, which had been characterized mostly by reorganization and downsizing over the last three decades. A Swiss Air Force F/A18 Hornet fighter jet flies past spectators during a flight demonstration of the Swiss Air Force over the Axalp in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, on Oct. 12, 2017. 50.1% of voters have voted “yes” to the procurement of new aircraft for the Swiss Air Force. The army needs to be ready to face any unknown threats that come up in the next 30 to 40 years. In the end, 50.1% of the roughly three million voters who cast ballots approved the CHF6 billion ($6.49 billion) funding packet after a surprising afternoon that left pollsters unable to call the result until the last minute. At the same time, however, he praised Amherd for the manner of her campaign. For the first time in decades, the army was defeated at the ballots. Dec 19, 2019 An annual study by the Military Academy at ETH Zurich and the Center of Security Studies confirms as much. Switzerland has been trying to buy new warplanes for years. Jun 17, 2020 Voters will have the final say on a CHF6 billion ($6.1 billion) package to buy new fighter jets for the Swiss airforce. In addition, the Swiss Air Force will use the new fighter aircraft for air policing around the clock, and, in case of armed attack, defend the air space for a limited period of time and support the ground forces. While the Federal Council will consult the official evaluation reports prior to its decision, political calculations based on the manufacturers’ countries of origin will likely play an important role, too. This content was published on Aug 23, 2020 A new poll reveals that 58% of voters are in favor of procurement. Blog Before Flight Staff January 29, 2019 0 New fighter jet for Switzerland. This Sunday, the Swiss electorate voted to purchase new fighter aircraft by the end of the decade. Work on what would become the P-16 … The government has confirmed plans to acquire new fighter jets for the Swiss air force for no more than CHF6 billion ($6.1 billion) over the next few years. The move comes a day after Airbus and Germany placed their bid offering Eurofighter aircraft to the Swiss Government. The jets, acquired in the 1990s, will age out by 2030. Opponents, mainly left-wing parties and anti-army groups, said the CHF6 billion amounted to a “blank cheque” that would be better spent on climate protection, health, or the Covid-19 crisis: “fighter jets are useless against a pandemic”, they said. The Swiss Air Force’s F-5E/F fleet is the older of the two platforms, having served in its ranks since 1978. The US Government and Lockheed Martin have officially proposed the sale of the F-35 aircraft to Switzerland to replace its ageing fighter jets through the New Fighter Aircraft (NFA) competition. He covers direct democracy and politics and is usually in Bern. | English Department. The cost of the plan and the current “pandemic effect” were also decisive, he said. The aircraft had met all Swiss Air Force requirements for an STOL attack fighter capable of carrying heavy loads, and the crash was widely considered a pretext for the Swiss parliament to reverse itself. This content was published on Sep 2, 2020 Switzerland in July 2018 began a new effort to buy a replacement fighter. Sep 27, 2020 Just a few days before the vote, the Swiss parliament agreed on an increase from 20 billion CHF for the four-year-period 2017-2020 up to 21.1 billion CHF for 2021-2024. This content was published on Aug 7, 2020 There were also numerous ballots at cantonal and local levels on September 27. Your web browser is outdated. The fleet of several hundred fighter aircraft fielded throughout the Cold War has continuously shrunk to initially thirty-four, now thirty, F/A-18 Hornets (and some forty-seven F-5 Tigers remaining for training purposes) that are set to be phased out by the end of the decade. With the F-5 force shrinking and flying part-time, the Swiss air force increasingly relies on its 30 F/A-18s. In principle, voters will have no further say on the type of new planes to be bought. The FFA P-16 was a Swiss prototype ground attack jet fighter designed and produced by aircraft manufacturer Flug- und Fahrzeugwerke Altenrhein (FFA). However, they shied away from painting their cause as anti-army generally. The vote clearly divided the country in … A right-wing proposal to scrap a Swiss immigration accord with the EU has been clearly rejected at the ballot box. Then, in 2022, the government intends to ask parliament for formal approval of both fighter jets as well as the air defense system that is finally set to roll out between 2025 and 2030. The Swiss Air Force operates a total of 34 single-seat F/A-18C and two-seat F/A-18D Hornet fighters. Defence Minister Viola Amherd welcomed the victory and said the government would now proceed with the evaluation of four models bidding for the contract: the Lockheed-Martin F-35, Boeing’s Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale, and Airbus’s Eurofighter Typhoon. On September 27, 2020, Switzerland held a referendum on whether it should acquire or not new fighter jets. Swiss Air Force Started New Round of Fighter jets Trials to replace aging fleet April 15, 2019 Defence deals 706 Views On JANUARY 26, 2019 Switzerland received five bids to replace its aging fighter fleet, from European aerospace group Airbus, France’s Dassault and Sweden’s Saab, as well as Boeing … At the same time, the collapse of the Iron Curtain also coincided with a heretofore unheard of scrutiny toward the Swiss army within parts of the population. Anti-immigration initiative:     38.3% Yes               61.7% No, Credit for fighter jets:              50.2% Yes               49.8% No, Paternity leave:                         60.3% Yes               39.7% No, Tax break childcare:                 36.8% Yes               63.2% No, Reform hunting law:                 48.1% Yes               51.9% No. But during its campaign, the government argued that the air force is vital for remaining credibly independent and sovereign – even if an all-out aerial attack is improbable. This time, the proponents of the deal closed ranks and ran a more disciplined campaign, even exhorting aircraft manufacturers to keep quiet and refrain from intervening in the public debate prior to the vote. The Swiss government plans to announce its decision next summer (along with the selection of a new ground-based air defense system for 2 billion CHF, which forms the second leg of the defense ministry’s Air2030 program but was excluded from the referendum). After more than one-third of the electorate had endorsed a popular initiative to abolish the army in 1989, an even higher percentage (42.8 percent) voted, albeit unsuccessfully, against the planned purchase of the abovementioned F/A-18s in June 1993. In total, 110 examples were delivered to Switzerland, comprising … Five fighter types are being pitted against each to compete for a lucrative order for 30-40 aircraft for the Swiss Air Force. 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