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The US government and Lockheed Martin submitted a proposal to the Swiss government on 18 November, offering up to 40 F-35 aircraft to satisfy that nation’s new fighter aircraft (NFA) requirement.

Incorporating an industrial package offering local industry substantial F-35 work opportunities across all Swiss regions, the offer also includes a comprehensive training programme. Swiss industry will the opportunity to compete for direct production of components for use on all F-35s produced, sustainment projects focused on supporting the Swiss Air Force and enhancing Swiss autonomy, and cyber security projects directly related to the F-35.

The offer uses the F-35 Global Support Solution for sustainment to ensure Switzerland benefits from the European F-35 economies of scale, to realize lower sustainment costs for the Swiss Air Force. It also includes a six-month spares package to ensure the service has the ability to conduct autonomous operations, if needed. Lockheed Martin is also offering an option for the assembly of four aircraft in Switzerland to ensure the nation gains an understanding of how to maintain the F-35 airframe and its advanced capabilities for the life of the programme.

"We are confident that our F-35 offer is the best and most affordable solution for the Swiss NFA competition," said Greg Ulmer, F-35 Program VP/General Manager. "We are offering the only 5th-generation fighter at the cost of 4th-generation aircraft, while offering Switzerland an aircraft that will protect Swiss sovereignty for decades to come."

Over 585 F-35s are currently in service and almost 1,200 pilots and close to 10,000 maintenance technicians have been trained on the aircraft. (Photo: US DoD)

- Mönch Publications - Latest Issues -

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