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Lockheed Martin F-35 leads in Swiss fighter jet evaluation - TV

Mon 21st June, 2021 4:41pm
ZURICH, June 21 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin's  LMT.N  F35-A
Lightning II performed the best in a Swiss evaluation of what
fighter jet to buy next, although the final political decision
was still open, Swiss broadcaster SRF reported on Monday, citing
three unidentified sources.
    The government is supposed to decide this month among the
Eurofighter from Airbus  AIR.PA , the Rafale from France's
Dassault  AVMD.PA , Boeing's  BA.N  F/A-18 Super Hornet, or the
F35-A.
    Swiss voters in September backed the government's plan to
spend up to 6 billion Swiss francs ($6.53 billion) on new
fighter jets in a surprisingly close referendum.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2GO0JJ
    "According to insiders, Switzerland can buy a larger number
of F-35s with the budgeted 6 billion Swiss francs than would be
the case with the three competitors. The F-35's simulator could
also be an asset: it would allow the F-35 to carry out
significantly more virtual training missions than the
competition," SRF's investigative programme Rundschau said in a
summary of a report https://www.srf.ch/news/schweiz/endspurt-kampfjetbeschaffung-amherd-will-den-ferrari-der-luefte-kaufen
 to air on Wednesday. 
    The defence ministry declined to comment.
    The aircraft will replace Switzerland's ageing fleet of 30
F/A-18 Hornets, which will go out of service in 2030. New jets
are to be delivered by 2025.
    At least two of the seven Cabinet members would prefer a
European fighter jet, SRF said, while critics have promised to
launch a referendum campaign under the Swiss system of direct
democracy against any decision to buy a U.S. fighter jet. 
 ($1 = 0.9183 Swiss francs)

 (Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
 ((Michael.Shields@thomsonreuters.com; +41 41 528 3630; Reuters
Messaging: michael.shields.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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