Which fighter jets would you buy?

Swiss pilots show off their skills over the Alps Keystone

The Federal Council wants to spend CHF8 billion ($8.1 billion) on new fighter jets and missile defences for the Swiss army. These five planes are high on the shopping list.

This content was published on November 15, 2017 - 09:57

Defence Minister Guy Parmelin says the current fleet of planes and anti-aircraft missiles are coming to the end of their service life: the 30 F/A-18s can be used until 2030 and the 53 F-5 Tiger jets are already no longer suitable for “real operations” (26 still fly regularly). The anti-aircraft missiles are operational until 2025, he says. 

The Federal Council has not revealed how exactly it wants to spend the CHF8 million, the biggest arms procurement programme in modern Swiss history. It has tasked the defence ministry with evaluating potential jets, wanting it to begin talks with Airbus, Boeing, Dassault, Lockheed Martin and Saab.  

Will voters – who in 2014 rejected spending CHF3.1 billion on 22 Gripen fighters – have the final say? That’s still to be decided. “The situation today is totally different,” reckons Parmelin, saying there’s no alternative and that this was the only way to protect Swiss airspace. 

Here are the jet models being considered so far for purchase by the Swiss government:

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?