A year after Swiss voters rejected the purchase of 22 JAS Gripen fighter aircraft, the country’s Defence Minister, Ueli Maurer, has told public broadcaster RTS that the situation is becoming urgent. Maurer said Switzerland will have to look at a number of alternatives in 2017 so that a new fighter jet can be found which can supplement the fleet of F-18s, which will remain in service until around 2030.
Sweden’s Saab JAS Gripen, France’s Rafale, and a US fighter jet – potentially the F-35 – are of interest, reports Svenska Dagbladet.
Håkan Buskhe, chief executive of the Saab defence group, has said: “There is likely to be a new procurement process in Switzerland in a few years. Naturally, we will try to be part of the process”.