As part of Armaments Program 2012, the Federal Council has asked Parliament to approve the acquisition of 22 Gripen E combat aircraft for a total cost of 3.126 billion francs.
These aircraft are to replace the air force’s obsolete F-5E Tiger fighters.
Along with the air force’s 33 F/A-18 Hornets, Gripen will help to ensure the monitoring and defence of Swiss airspace. A special fund (Gripen Fund) will be set up to finance this acquisition. Its creation is based on a federal law (Gripen Fund Act) which may be subject to an optional referendum.
Gripen meets the requirements set by the armed forces, and is significantly cheaper than its competitors. It has the best cost-benefit ratio and the lowest operating costs.
The Federal Council's decision to opt for this aircraft is based on the need to acquire a combat aircraft capable of carrying out its missions, without aiming for maximum performance. This will allow the other components of the armed forces to be financed as necessary.
Gripen Fund Act
The Law on the Gripen Fund will finance the acquisition of these aircraft. The Gripen fund is a special state fund as defined by art. 52 of the Act of 7 October 2005 on the finances of the Confederation (Finance Act, LFC, RS 611.0), and must be funded by allocations under the ceiling on military spending.
These allocations must be spread over ten years to balance the budgetary costs incurred by the armed forces and the federal budget. This will result in greater security in planning other weapons project, and will allow credit balances to be avoided to a large extent.
The Gripen procurement fund will be provided exclusively through the armed forces expenditures, and no additional investment will be required Confederation.
It is expected to make the larger payments at the conclusion of the contract - payments made in 2014 and 2016 - and during deliveries, the latter being provided between 2018 and 2021.
The Fund Act Gripen is the condition for the acquisition offer in the weapons program in 2012. This Act is subject to an optional referendum.
Impact on economic activity in Switzerland
Foreign suppliers undertake to offset 100% of the contract value to the Swiss industry. No obligation, against, from Swiss suppliers, government bodies and suppliers of small acquisitions.
The total volume of offset is currently estimated at around 2.5 billion francs, which corresponds to the economic activity of some 10,000 man-years. This will result in an increase in the know-how and added value to industrial high technological level.
Clearing operations shall be binding upon the Swedish industry to promote Swiss industry business relationships Swiss industry in a sustainable way and even beyond the term of the bonds. They will acquire new markets.
The acquisition of Gripen will also have a positive impact on the regions in which military airfields and military training bases are located.
Replacement of F-5 Tiger will support and maintain jobs in these regions, and even create new ones in the fields of industry, technology and services, as well as in the armed forces.