National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger and the Swiss F-35A Program Manager Darko Savic signed the procurement contract on 19 September 2022 at armasuisse in Bern. With this, the procurement of 36 F-35A 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 procurement for the purchase of the 36 F-35A amounts to 6.035 billion Swiss Francs and thus lies within the limits of the maximum financial volume approved by the Swiss electorate. The National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger and the Program Manager for the procurement of the new combat aircraft, Darko Savic, have signed the contract. For their part, the US authorities have already signed the procurement contract.
In addition to the aircraft, the procurement cost of the F-35A also cover mission specific equipment, weapons and ammunition, a logistics package, mission planning systems, training systems and initial training. Furthermore, the cost for the integration into the Swiss command and control system, for support services by industry, a risk amount, the inflation in the country of manufacturer, the USA, as well as the VAT on imports are also included.
Switzerland is procuring the aircraft via “Foreign Military Sales” (FMS) from the US government and at the same conditions that it applies to itself. The US government in turn transacts the procurement through its own contract – visible for the DDPS – with the manufacturer company Lockheed Martin. The prices and contractual conditions are defined bindingly in this contract and are also enforced by means of strict supervision.
The first eight F-35As will be manufactured at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, where they will also be used to provide initial training for the Swiss pilots, Bern announced in March. At least 24 subsequent aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Leonardo at the Final Assembly and Check-Out (FACO) facility in Cameri, northern Italy.
In addition, Switzerland and the USA have negotiated a specific clause and signed a separate declaration which establishes the fixed price nature of the agreement.
The head of Program Air2030, Peter Winter, and the F-35 Program Manager, Darko Savic, also signed the offset agreement with Lockheed Martin. This forms the basis for the US manufacturer to conduct offset businesses with the Swiss industry. In this manner, Swiss companies receive contracts with a volume of around 2.9 billion Swiss Francs.