On 19 September 2022, National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger and the Swiss F-35A Program Manager Darko Savic signed the procurement contract at armasuisse in Bern. This means the deal to buy 36 US built Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter jets is contractually agreed.
The aircraft will be delivered between 2027 and 2030 and will replace the current fleet of F/A-18 Hornets and F-5 Tigers. The bill for the jets comes to CHF 6,035 billion, within the limits of the maximum sum approved by Swiss voters. The US parties to the contract have already signed and the prices are now binding, according to a government press release.
In addition to the aircraft, the cost also covers mission specific equipment, weapons and ammunition, a logistics package, mission planning systems, training systems and initial training. VAT is also included in the price.
In addition, the deal includes an offset agreement, which has been agreed in another contract. Under this, Swiss companies will receive contracts of around CHF 2.9 billion related to purchase.
On Monday, the organisers of an initiative against the acquisition of the jets announced they were withdrawing their referendum on the subject. According to the organisers, a vote after the contract has been signed would be nothing more than a democratic farce.