The F-35 for Switzerland
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued June 06, 2019)
At Lockheed Martin, we understand how important maintaining military neutrality is to the people of Switzerland.

In a turbulent world where threats to national security are constantly evolving, the F-35 offers the best platform for the Swiss military to adapt to and meet those threats – both now and for decades to come.

Peace and stability are too important to take for granted. The F-35 provides cutting-edge technology which allows nations large and small to maintain peace through strength.

Defending Switzerland

In selecting the F-35, Switzerland will join the 13 other nations worldwide to recognize the increasingly sophisticated threat environment by providing a highly sophisticated response.

With air policing one of Switzerland’s primary requirements for its new aircraft, the F-35 offers unmatched capabilities.

Internal fuel tanks and weapons bays, along with innovative design features, mean the F-35 is a very low observable (or stealth) aircraft, with a nearly undetectable radar signature.

Stealth offers survivability to detect air targets discreetly.

State of the art sensors and radar on board the aircraft give the pilots a total picture of the operating environment and full interoperability means that the aircraft is the eyes and ears for supporting ground and air forces.

When combined, the sensors, radar and stealth features mean that would-be aggressors can be identified and tackled with minimal threat to the F-35 operator.

The aircraft can be dispatched rapidly and climbs quickly. With a high thrust engine and internal weapons, the F-35 is able to remain airborne longer than any of its competitors.

This makes the F-35 a formidable gatekeeper. And as a true multi-role aircraft, it can be adapted to whatever missions it may be required for in decades to come.

Assuring Autonomy

While the F-35 provides unmatched interoperability, Switzerland will maintain control over country specific data managed by the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System, including the names of pilots, aircraft location, among other data sets.

F-35 Fast Facts

-- F-35 Cost
The F-35 can be acquired at a price which is competitive with legacy 4th-generation aircraft. The F-35’s ongoing modernization efforts will ensure it outpaces advancing threats and continue to widen the gap over existing aircraft. With 13 participants and counting, the modernization efforts are shared across the growing F-35 enterprise and provide unmatched affordability. As we develop and deliver upgraded capabilities, our goal is to maintain or reduce costs across production and sustainment.

-- Industrial Opportunities
With industrial participation also being an integral part of the Air 2030 competition, Switzerland would benefit from the success of this programme. Already, around 25 percent of every aircraft sold globally is manufactured in Europe. In the future, jets flying around the world could have components marked “Made in Switzerland” on board.

-- Preparing for the future
The F-35 is the most advanced and capable aircraft available today and offers flexibility to develop further as new technologies become available.

Defence of a peaceful nation is too important to be left to anything but the very best equipment available. The F-35 will give Switzerland that superiority.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Readers will note that Lockheed is no longer making implausible claims that the unit cost of its F-35A has dropped to $80 million or less.
Saying the F-35’s cost is “competitive” with that of legacy aircraft compares it to twin-engined aircraft that, necessarily, more expensive.
As for the claim that Swiss industry could provide parts for future F-35s, this is inherently deceptive, as Swiss industry could only win contracts if it offered the cheapest compliant parts, which given the exchange rate of the Swiss franc, and Swiss production costs, would be extremely unlikely.
Yet, this implausible claim is useful to mask the fact that, because of the program’s by-laws, Lockheed cannot offer any industrial offsets at all on the F-35; it can only guarantee that Swiss companies will be able to compete for the work.
And calling the F-35 “the world’s most capable air defense fighter” is a joke that will amuse pilots of F-22, Eurofighter, Su-35 and MiG-31 pilots around the world.)


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