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Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 23:47
by steve2267
Since Switzerland had re-started their Hornet / Tiger II replacement decision-making process, does anyone think the Swiss might opt for the F-35?

Within a year or two, if not already, the F-35A will likely be the least expensive western fighter aircraft available, 4th OR 5th gen. I wouldn't think Washington would object to the Swiss purchasing / operating F-35s.

A little more expensive than the F-35A, the F-35B would seem to make an excellent choice for Switzerland if they want to be able to disperse and operate from roads. Given its geographical size, the Killer Bee should have more than enough range / endurance for the defense of Switzerland.

If they just want to keep things cheap, I'd say look for used Gripens or used F-16s with decent airframe life left to act as an air policing arm, within normal operating hours, 9am-5pm, of course! :poke:

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 00:27
by popcorn
Would love to see them get some B-jets.

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 01:47
by arian
steve2267 wrote:Within a year or two, if not already, the F-35A will likely be the least expensive western fighter aircraft available, 4th OR 5th gen.


I have it on good account that the Gripen is the cheapest plane in the world. Also best plane in the world.

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 01:55
by steve2267
arian wrote:
I have it on good account that the Gripen is the cheapest plane in the world. Also best plane in the world.


For an air force that flies on banker hours, if they are looking to save money, some good used JAS-39C's with decent amount of airframe life left, would probably fill the air policing role well. And, as you say, it's the "best plane in the world."

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 11:05
by juretrn
Are we poking fun at the genius that would have the entire USAF be replaced by Gripens? (name eludes me) :doh:

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 15:38
by steve2267
juretrn wrote:Are we poking fun at the genius that would have the entire USAF be replaced by Gripens? (name eludes me) :doh:


I am not. I am mildly poking fun @ the Swiss for having picked a replacement for their F-18s and then cancelling the contract in a fit of pique @ the polls and also for an air force that apparently has bankers hours.

If the Swiss wish a serious defense, then they need to make a serious choice. At this point, not only is the F-35 a serious choice, but may be the cheapest as well for new aircraft.

If all the Swiss wish is to have an air police force, then used Gripen C models with airframe life left may be an economical choice. Used F-16s may work as well.

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 23:28
by arian
juretrn wrote:Are we poking fun at the genius that would have the entire USAF be replaced by Gripens? (name eludes me) :doh:


I'm poking fun at all Gripen fanboys.

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2017, 00:37
by juretrn
arian wrote:I'm poking fun at all Gripen fanboys.

Well to be fair, the Gripen is a "good enough" option for a small airforce.
But yeah, they're really serious about defending their country, and good enough might not do, so I think steve2267 is on point.

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2017, 15:59
by mixelflick
When the F-35 becomes the cheapest of all the options (Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen, SH, Mig-35, SU-35 etc) it's going to be tough to justify passing it over.

Unless you're Canada and demand 2 engines. Which is pretty rich, considering the US Navy's OK with it.. :D

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2017, 19:52
by barrelnut
steve2267 wrote:I am not. I am mildly poking fun @ the Swiss for having picked a replacement for their F-18s and then cancelling the contract in a fit of pique @ the polls and also for an air force that apparently has bankers hours.


Well, they didn't. They picked a replacement for their F-5 fleet, not Hornets. Hornets will be replaced with much more capable jets, F-35's most likely.

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2017, 20:39
by steve2267
barrelnut wrote:
steve2267 wrote:I am not. I am mildly poking fun @ the Swiss for having picked a replacement for their F-18s and then cancelling the contract in a fit of pique @ the polls and also for an air force that apparently has bankers hours.


Well, they didn't. They picked a replacement for their F-5 fleet, not Hornets. Hornets will be replaced with much more capable jets, F-35's most likely.


I did not know this. I thought the Gripen was a replace everything (F-5 + F-18) deal. Had they replaced their F-5s with Gripens, and then their F-18's with F-35's... they would have had a very potent Hi-Lo force.

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2017, 21:25
by spazsinbad
Switzerland adds Hornets to fighter replacement plans
25 Feb 2016 Gareth Jennings

"Switzerland is to add a requirement to replace its Boeing F/A-18 Hornet combat aircraft when it relaunches its aborted attempt to replace its ageing Northrop F-5 Tiger II fleet in the coming months.

The Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection, and Sport (VBS [previously DDPS]) issued a document on 24 February saying that its chief, Guy Parmelin, had informed the Federal Council that the 31 F/A-18 Hornet fighters operated by the Swiss Air Force are to be included in an effort to replace the service's 54 F-5 Tigers that is set to be relaunched later this year....

...While no manufacturers have yet publicly declared their interest in a relaunched Swiss fighter procurement programme, the government has previously stated that the new process should include two of the three shortlisted candidates from the previous effort: the Gripen E and the Dassault Rafale (the Eurofighter Typhoon is no longer considered a "favourite", according to national broadcater RTS)."

Source: http://www.janes.com/article/58331/swit ... ment-plans

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 20 Feb 2017, 07:45
by hornetfinn
Going to single type would be smart move from the Swiss IMO. F-5 and F/A-18 was hi-lo mix with F-5 being flown mostly by reservists (mostly airline and freightline pilots) and F/A-18 by full time professional military pilots. Today such a hi-lo mix is not really possible as all types are pretty expensive and have pretty big logistical and training requirements. For such a small airforce one type is much more economical and efficient than two distinct types.

There is talk about buying two different fighter types also in Finland. Most think this would mean Gripen for "cheap" fighter and either Super Hornet or F-35 as "expensive" fighter. I think history might repeat itself in both Switzerland and Finland and US fighter will be bought with clearly better performance and equal or lower costs than competitors. I think Switzerland and Finland should team up in the effort to replace their fighters as both have very similar replacement schedule and overall situation. I'm sure air forces of both countries would very much like F-35, but politicians can be very unpredictable.

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 20 Feb 2017, 13:42
by noth
Any Swiiss buy will have to manage to get through a referendum (they're automatic on any purchase over 1 billion CHF). This may be quite difficult if the Left have another campaign like they did on the Gripen... Also the number of jets the Airforce can afford is rather crucial, they'll want as many as possible but probably can't afford more than 30ish of any model.

As for banker hours, that is changing, they'll be doing 24 hour QRA by end of 2017 I believe.

Re: Swiss Lightning?

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2017, 02:13
by jakobs
How about holding the referendum before starting the process this time around.