BERN ---The first Request For Quotations for the next fighter jets has been sent to the government agencies of the manufacturers. armasuisse expects offers in response by the end of January 2019.
On the basis of the requirements published by the DDPS on 23 March 2018, armasuisse, on July 6, 2018, sent the request for quotations for the next combat aircraft to the governmental agencies of the five manufacturers concerned:
-- Germany (Airbus Eurofighter),
-- France (Dassault Rafale),
-- Sweden (Saab Gripen E), and the
-- United States (Boeing F / A-18 Super Hornet, Lockheed-Martin F-35A).
After making contact with their government agency, manufacturers have the option to submit their offer to armasuisse until the end of January 2019.
Tenders must include the following information:
-- calculation of the number of aircraft required by the manufacturer to fulfill the missions of the Swiss Air Force (and in particular to fly four planes permanently for four weeks);
-- price for 40 and 30 aircraft, logistical costs and guided missiles included, as a basis for the subsequent determination of the required number;
-- information and proposals for cooperation between armed forces and procurement authorities;
-- indication as to the possibility of offsets and other compensation.
Evaluation and analysis of costs and effectiveness
Then, the indications of the manufacturers will be analyzed in detail. To do this, the DDPS has defined a weighting of the four main evaluation criteria concerning the effectiveness of the system:
-- effectiveness (operational, endurance) 55%
-- product support (ease of maintenance, autonomous assistance) 25%
-- cooperation 10%
-- direct compensations (offsets) 10%
This weighting will also apply to the surface-to-air defense system (DSA) for which the request for tenders should be sent at the end of the summer.
This time, the comparison of candidates for the new combat aircraft and of the new ground-to-air defense system will be based, in addition to the overall effectiveness, on the acquisition and operating costs.
From May to July 2019, fighter jets will undergo, one after the other, in-flight and ground tests in Payerne, after which a second request for proposals will be sent by armasuisse in November 2019, with responses expected by the end of May 2020.
The observations made during the flight and ground tests, as well as the evaluation of the initial quotations, will be included in this second request for proposal. It will ask manufacturers to submit their best possible offer for Switzerland.
The evaluation report will be drawn up from June to the end of 2020, and then submitted to the Federal Council at the same time as the surface-to-air defense system, in order to decide on the model.
Dossier Air2030 - Protection of airspace (www.ddps.ch/air2030) (in French)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This time around, Switzerland intends to buy both a new fleet of combat aircraft and new air-defense missiles for a combined value of 8 billion Swiss francs ($8.1 billion). It is the biggest arms procurement program in Swiss history.
The new fighter fleet is intended to replace the Northrop F-5E Tigers and Boeing F/A-18s Hornets which are scheduled to be retired by the mid-2020s.