Switzerland to Assemble Four F-35s in Lockheed Deal

Switzerland to Assemble Four F-35s in Lockheed Deal

Switzerland has secured a deal to domestically assemble four F-35A stealth fighters. This arrangement, part of a larger purchase of 36 F-35As from the United States, marks a crucial step in Switzerland’s defense strategy and technological advancement.

The Switzerland F-35 assembly agreement, reached with Lockheed Martin, involves a knowledge and technology transfer that will enhance Swiss expertise in advanced fighter jet production. Swiss armaments company Ruag will spearhead the assembly and testing process, showcasing the nation’s commitment to developing its domestic defense industry.

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Switzerland’s decision to acquire F-35As aligns with its long-standing policy of armed neutrality. By 2030, the Swiss Air Force expects to have all 36 F-35As in service, replacing its aging fleet of F/A-18 Hornets and F-5 Tigers. This upgrade ensures Switzerland maintains a credible air defense capability in the 21st century.

The F-35A, widely regarded as one of the most advanced fighter jets available for export, will significantly boost Switzerland’s military prowess. As part of the broader European defense landscape, Switzerland joins several nations adopting the F-35 platform. Projections suggest the F-35 will become Europe’s most prevalent fighter jet by 2030, with approximately 500 units in service across the continent.

Switzerland’s involvement in F-35 assembly reflects a growing trend among select U.S. allies. While most countries receive fully assembled jets, nations like Japan and now Switzerland have secured rights to partial domestic production. This approach not only supports local industries but also deepens technological partnerships with the United States.

Switzerland to Assemble Four F-35s in Lockheed Deal

The Swiss F-35 deal goes beyond mere aircraft acquisition. It represents a strategic investment in the country’s defense industrial base, potentially opening doors for future collaborations and exports. As the 17th largest arms exporter globally (2019-2023), Switzerland continues to punch above its weight in the international defense market.

By embracing the F-35 program and securing domestic assembly rights, Switzerland reaffirms its commitment to maintaining a modern, capable military force while fostering technological innovation. This balanced approach ensures the nation’s armed neutrality remains credible in an ever-evolving global security landscape.

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