BERN --- At the meeting of 13 February 2019, the new head of the DDPS, Federal Councilor Viola Amherd, informed the Federal Council of her intention to continue the acquisition of new combat aircraft and a system long-range ground-to-air defense.
Before submitting a concrete proposal to the Federal Council, however, she wants to obtain a complete overview of the project. To this end, she is seeking additional external advice on the "Future of Air Defense" expert report.
In addition, she requests that a current threat analysis be carried out within the DDPS in order to compare it with previous assessments and draw all the relevant consequences for the Air2030 program.
The Federal Council has taken preliminary decisions on the acquisition of new fighter jets combined with a long-range air-to-air defense system, including a decision in principle to provide the necessary means to protect the population against aerial threats.
Continuation of work within the DDPS
The head of the DDPS is continuing talks with specialists from her department, from Defense, Armasuisse and the General Secretariat.
She also seeks a second opinion, from an external and independent source, on the May 2017 "Future of Air Defense" expert report. Discussions on this subject are ongoing. She has also requested a new, updated internal threat analysis to compare it to previous assessments.
The next step will be to determine the modalities for organizing a referendum, in accordance with the mandate given by Parliament to the Federal Council last December with the adoption of motion 17.3604.
Impact on the calendar
As soon as the DDPS clarifies these issues, the Federal Council will again look at the renewal of airspace protection. This should take place during the first half of 2019.
This work may have an impact on the project schedule. The evaluation is continuing as planned.