The House of Representatives' security committee has affirmed its support for the purchase of new fighter aircraft for Switzerland's air force.
After several hours of debate, the parliamentary group voted 18-8 to make funds available to replace the country's aging fleet of Tiger fighter jets.
The pacifist group Switzerland without an Army has collected enough signatures opposing the purchase to force the issue to a national referendum.
Defence Minister Ueli Maurer has said that Switzerland will not replace its ageing fleet of 54 jets for financial reasons. The country had originally planned to spend SFr2.2 billion ($2.17 billion) to replace the aircraft.
The order was then reduced to 22 jets.
swissinfo.ch and agencies
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