The evaluation showed that this model has the greatest advantages at the lowest total cost.
The Swiss government announced on Wednesday that it has chosen the F-35A Lightning II model from Lockheed Martin as the next-generation fighter. Probably, in connection with the conclusion of this contract, another referendum will be held in the country.
Switzerland decided to purchase 36 F-35A after an assessment showed that they have “the greatest advantages at the lowest total cost.”
The country also considered the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters from Boeing, the Rafale from France’s Dassault and the Eurofighter, built jointly by the Italian company Leonardo, the British BAE Systems and Airbus.
The government also decided to purchase the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system from the American manufacturer Raytheon, seeking to update the Swiss air defense system. Raytheon beat the French-Italian competitor Eurosam.
“The Federal Council is confident that these two systems are the most suitable for protecting the Swiss population from threats from the air in the future,” the Swiss government said in a statement.
The F-35A “performed better because it has a noticeable technological advantage over other candidates,” the government said after the evaluation.
According to the government, this aircraft is well suited for performing tasks for the protection of airspace and has a high degree of non-reflection, since its design makes it difficult for the enemy to detect.
The government said that the F-35A will cost the country 2 billion Swiss francs cheaper than the next cheapest analogue.
The purchase costs will amount to 5.07 billion Swiss francs, which is lower than the financial limit of 6 billion set by the voters. Operating expenses will amount to 15.5 billion francs over 30 years.
Switzerland’s decision was closely watched as the first of three important tenders in this area: Finland and Canada are also planning to purchase fighter jets.