BERN --- Evaluation tests of sensors submitted by the United States and France for a new long-range ground-to-air defense system have been completed. They took place in Menzingen and were conducted by armasuisse in collaboration with the Swiss Army.
Since about 18 months ago, Armasuisse and the Swiss military have been preparing the acquisition of a new long-range air defense system. On the basis of the requirements published by the DDPS on 23 March 2018, the two short-listed candidates on March 22, 2019 submitted to armasuisse their offers for a new ground-to-air defense system.
Sensor testing in Menzingen
For each candidate, the tests included 10 missions, requiring 16 take-offs and landings of various aircraft. The candidate could control the correct installation of his sensor system and their recording devices during the first mission.
The nine assessment missions were based on technical and operational scenarios, with presentation of flight targets. The aim was to examine the sensors in the Swiss context and to check the maturity of the system.
Immission measurements supported by the Canton of Zug
Compliance with immission standards was also verified. For this purpose, armasuisse measured the radiation at various points around the test site, before and during the tests. The measured values were all well below the limits defined by law; they were also clearly below the limit value of 5.5 V / m of the installation.
If the latter is as strict and significantly lower than the immission limits, it is because it applies in areas where people remain regularly over a prolonged period. The measurements were carried out by radiation experts from armasuisse and supervised by the Environment Office of the Canton of Zug.
Both candidates have passed all the missions and remain in the race for the rest of the evaluation. They are:
• France (Eurosam SAMP / T) and
• United States (Raytheon Patriot).
Next Steps of the Ground-to-Air Defense System Project
For each candidate, armasuisse, in cooperation with the Army Staff, the Air Force, the Army Logistics Base and the Command Support Base, will gather the findings from the sensor tests in specialized reports.
Based on the results of the analysis and testing phase, armasuisse will issue a second call for tenders which will be sent to applicants in January 2020. Based on their second offer and specialized reports, armasuisse will determine the overall benefits of each candidate, then compare them to each other.
The results, together with a full risk analysis, will be included in the evaluation report, which will compare the overall benefits and acquisition and usage costs over a 30-year period.
In all probability, the Federal Council should select the winner by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.