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Fighter jet purchase: Claude Nicolliers Council to the Federal Council

Is the current planning and procurement approach for the new combat aircraft on a solid Foundation? This question Viola Amherd, as you took in the beginning of the year for your position as head of the defense Department (VBS). Three additional reports you gave in order to get your own picture of the most expensive procurement project of the Swiss army.

An important mission, Claude Nicollier. The former Astronaut and military pilot took to the procurement plans of the air force under the magnifying glass. Since this report is open to the public. This includes an independent second opinion to an expert report. In this expert report is almost 200 pages thick book that had been written by specialists from the air force, army, and VBS. It provided the Federal government the decision-making basis for a new ground-to-air defense, and for the new fighter jets.

Nicollier is excited about this work, which bears the title "air defense of the future" and for the past two years. The quality of the expert report, was exceptionally high, the content of a witness of an extremely professional work, writes the Professor at the EPFL Lausanne. In fact, the report shows, in addition to a comprehensive threat analysis of various variants, such as Switzerland, can face threats and attacks in the air.

Clearly Nicollier is the second of four options. This provides for the purchase of 40 new multi-purpose fighter aircraft with a System for air defence from the ground, an area could be covered in the Size of the middle country. For the protection of property and the defense of ground troops against air threats in the vicinity of the existing Medium antiaircraft and air defence-would provisionally Stinger missiles. In the expert report, the costs for this variant are estimated to be nine billion Swiss francs. However, the Federal Council had decided in 2017, a Cost of eight billion.

Nicollier is now of the opinion that this variant should be implemented in the framework of the existing finances in the best possible way. In the sense of an immediate measure of the expert is to acknowledge the report officially and use it as a Basis for further Work on the project. So Nicollier is likely to dispel any doubts as to the report by the new head of Department.

Remarkably, a correction proposed by Nicollier at the political way for the project "Air2030". This should be unbundled. Although the Federal Council shall record, in the opinion Nicolliers on the middle of the referendum enabled the planning decision – but not the way it wanted to Amherds predecessor, Guy Parmelin (SVP). This planned a vote of Principle on the project as a whole, so the ground-based air defenses and fighter jets.

Nicollier proposes Amherd now a planning decision, which affects not alone the fighters. It is not advisable to mix the purchase of fighter jets with the other weapons system, especially a vote, the course is known to be "emotionally and less professional". This draft should include only the aircraft and determine that the decision of the Federal Council is made about the type of aircraft under any circumstances before the results of a possible optional referendum are known.

Nicollier want to avoid that in the referendum on the fighter jet of a type discussion. So, as it was in the vote on the Gripen, the case was lost then.

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Created: 02.05.2019, 08:30 PM

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