Swiss air-force’s new fighters’ life-cycle cost estimated to double the purchase cost

The new combat aircraft would cost a total of 18 billion francs, according to an estimate by the DDPS. In addition to the acquisition costs of 6 billion, nearly 12 billion are added for the maintenance of the jets during the entire duration of their use.

These figures published by the SonntagsZeitung have been confirmed by the Federal Office for Armaments (Armasuisse). To articulate them, Berne relied on 20 years of operation of the fleet of F / A-18 fighter aircraft currently in service.

“In general, the operating costs calculated over 30 years should be around twice as high as the purchase cost,” said the spokesman for Armasuisse. As neither the type of aircraft nor their number has yet been determined, more precise calculations are not yet possible. The Federal Council should make its choice in early 2021.

Opponents of the purchase of new fighter jets have sometimes estimated spending around 24 billion francs. They relied in part on calculations made by the German and Canadian authorities.

Vote at the end of September

The Federal Council and the Parliament plan to buy new fighter jets for 6 billion francs from 2025. This is to replace the current fleet of F / A-18 and Tiger planes. The Swiss will vote on September 27 after the Group for a Switzerland without an army, the PS and the Greens launched a referendum.

The Helvetians will not decide on the type of aircraft, nor on the number of jets, between 36 and 40, which will be purchased. Currently, a second series of offers is underway. Last spring, four manufacturers flew their machines over the Swiss sky during a demonstration.

Four jets remain in the race: the French Rafale (Dassault), the German Eurofighter (Airbus), and on the American side, the successor to the F / A-18, the Boeing Super Hornet, and the Lockheed-Martin F-35A.

SOURCE: SWISSINFO