The US State Department has approved a possible sale to Switzerland of 40 F-35 jets costing $6.58 billion and an equal number of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft worth $7.452 billion.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on September 30. The approval came soon after Swiss citizens voted in favor of the fighter jets in a referendum narrowly won by the pro-fighter jet lobby.
The US green-lighting the fighter jets potential sale to Switzerland means both Lockheed Martin (F-35) and Boeing (F/A-18E/F) are officially in the race that also includes Airbus’ Eurofighter and Dassault’s Rafale.
Giving details of the aircraft and weapons, a DSCA release said:
The Government of Switzerland requested to buy up to forty (40) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft; Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines; Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II+ (Plus) Tactical Missiles; KMU-572 JDAM Guidance Kits for GBU-54; Small Diameter Bomb II. Also included are Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence/Communications among others. The total estimated cost is $6.58 billion.
Regarding the Super Hornets, the approval is split between 36 F/A-18E and four F/A-18F and includes a host of weapons, sensors and electronic counter-measures. Altogether, the deal is worth $7.452 billion.
Switzerland currently operates the Boeing F/A-18C/D, but that aircraft is reaching end-of-life and will be replaced by the winner of Switzerland’s New Fighter Aircraft competition, for which the F-35 and F/A-18E/F is being considered.