Will Switzerland Pay More for F-35
The Defence ministry explains the increase in the exchange rates. The statement reads, “Assuming an exchange rate of CHF 0.95 to the US dollar, and this results in guarantee credits of CHF 6.035 billion for the aircraft [F-35A] and CHF 1.987 billion for the air defence system [Patriot]. This is less than the anticipated financial cost. The planning decision on procuring the fighter aircraft, which has been approved by Swiss voters, allows for a financial cost of CHF 6.3 billion, taking into account inflation forecasts up to 2031 and anticipated payments.” The explanation complicates the calculations. It is understood that the increase includes inflation forecasts up to 2031 and anticipated payments. The calculation includes F-35A aircraft but not Patriot Air Defence Systems.
The ministry says it used the same exchange rate of CHF 0.95 to the US dollar for both the aircraft and missiles. Hence, the implication is clearly that the F-35 cost increase is due to other specific but unnamed factors.
According to the Swiss government, the government preferred F-35 aircraft because the US aircraft offers the best performance and the lowest costs.
The new figures may trigger the “Stop F-35” initiative launched in august by the Group for Switzerland Without an Army (GSsA).
The Socialist and Green parties have about one-third of the seats at the Swiss Parliament.
Under Swiss law, 100,000 signatures are enough to force a referendum. On Nov. 28, according to a counter on the GSsA website, “61,258 people had downloaded the petition’s signature page,” and the total had increased to 61,282 by Nov. 29.