A very interesting development in the field of European fighter jets, as the US Navy (USN) is interested in acquiring 22 F-5 Tiger fighter jets from what the Swiss Air Force has withdrawn to use them in training for the Naval Air Force. The commission will complement similar ones made years ago of 44 F-5 Tiger, which specialize in playing the role of aggressor in their pilot training.
The request has been made to the Swiss some time ago and a panel of the US Navy is discussing – negotiating the matter. It is not known whether the Americans’ intention was in any way linked to Lockheed Martin’s supply to the Swiss of F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.
The likelihood of this happening is rather low, mainly because the aircraft faces the disadvantage of not having a two-seater version, so that Swiss generals cannot fly to form an opinion on the actual capabilities of the aircraft.
According to a report on the matter, the US Navy is said to have secured a $ 40m fund to complete the commission. This means selling aircraft at a unit price well below half a million dollars.
Armasuisse, the Swiss armaments agency, confirmed talks with the Americans last summer, but no contract has yet been signed.
The problem is likely to be in the US, as the 2020 budget line containing the file has not yet been completed. Once all goes smoothly, the delivery of the aircraft to the US Navy is expected to take place in 2021.
Switzerland had bought 100 F-5 Tiger fighter jets, of which 53 are currently deployed, but only 26 remain operational because the Swiss Parliament rejected the supply of Swedish Gripen fighter jets in 2014.