The Swiss government is expected to decide soon on a replacement for the Boeing F/A-18C/D fighter jets used by the Air Force, but depending on the rumors in the country’s media, there are two strong candidates, the F-35 and the Rafale.
Earlier this month, the newspaper Le Matin announced that the French fighter was an increasingly favorite in Bern, Switzerland’s political capital.
As evidence, the outlet cited the head of the Department of Defense, Population and Sports, Viola Amherd, who during a presentation to the country’s National Council used the Rafale as an example of an aircraft that meets the program’s requirements.
Le Matin even revealed that the backstage rumors would be converging on Dassault’s fighter jet. The choice of a European supersonic jet, the newspaper points out, would avoid protests from sectors on the left opposed to the US and would also be a sign of goodwill with the European Union..
For these reasons, the US competitors would already be out of the question. However, this is not what Swiss radio SRF claimed.
More F-35 fighters
In a report that aired on Monday, the broadcaster revealed that the F-35 Lightining II fighter did better than its rivals in technical analysis.
According to SRF sources, Lockheed Martin’s proposal involves a greater number of fighters and also advanced simulators since the F-35 does not have a two-seat version.
Of the seven cabinet members who will decide the winner, two are in favor of a European fighter, according to the SRF, which also recognizes that despite the technical advantage, the political side may prevail.
In addition to the Rafale and the F-35, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet compete.
The acquisition budget is around $6.5 billion and was approved by the population after a referendum. The announcement of the winner has no date set to take place, but it must not go beyond June.