On September 19, 2022, at armasuisse in Bern, the National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger and the Swiss F-35A Program Manager Darko Savic signed the purchase agreement. With this, a contract is established for the purchase of 36 F-35A aircraft. The F/A-18 Hornets and F-5 Tigers that are now in service will be replaced by the new aircraft, which will be delivered between 2027 and 2030.
The purchase of 36 F-35As will cost a total of 6,035 billion Swiss francs, which is within the permitted financial volume set by the Swiss electorate. The contract has been signed by the National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger and the Program Manager for the purchase of the new combat aircraft, Darko Savic.
The F-35A’s purchase costs also include specialized mission equipment, weaponry, and ammunition, as well as a logistics package, mission planning systems, training systems, and basic training. Additionally, the price for the integration into the Swiss command and control system, for industry-specific support services, a risk amount, the inflation rate in the USA, the country of manufacture, as well as the VAT on imports are also included.
Switzerland is purchasing the aircraft from the US government through “Foreign Military Sales” (FMS), and under the same terms that Switzerland applies to itself. The US government then conducts the acquisition through its own contract with the manufacturer Lockheed Martin, which is clearly apparent to the DDPS. This contract contains legally enforceable definitions of the prices and contractual terms, which are also strictly enforced.
Offset agreement concluded in parallel to the procurement contract
The offset contract with Lockheed Martin was also signed by Peter Winter, the director of Program Air2030, and Darko Savic, the program manager for the F-35. The US company can now conduct offset transactions with the Swiss industry on the strength of this. This results in contracts for Swiss businesses with a total value of about 2.9 billion Swiss Francs.