Switzerland wants to complete its air defense with medium-range systems

Switzerland wants to complete its air defense with medium-range systems
Switzerland wants to complete its air defense with medium-range systems

After confirming the purchase of five Patriot firing units and GEM-T type missiles [Guidance Enhanced Missiles] from the United States for 1.2 billion dollars, Switzerland intends to very quickly fill its capacity deficits in terms of medium-range ground-to-air defense. For this, it plans to invest 660 million Swiss francs [675 millions d’euros] additional funds under the “DSA MP” program.

Thus, on April 30, the Federal Armament Office Armasuisse announced that it had just solicited three “potential suppliers” for this future medium-range ground-to-air defense system, namely Dielh Defense [Allemagne, IRIS-T SLM]the tandem formed by Kongsberg and Raytheon [NASAMS] and MBDA France [CAMM ER ?].

“These manufacturers are now invited to propose a suitable system on the basis of the tender documents,” said Armasuisse, who said they wanted above all a capacity “already used successfully”. But other considerations will come into play.

“Higher criteria were also taken into account for the selection based on the country of the manufacturer. This concerns in particular the potential for cooperation in different areas such as education, training and maintenance. The involvement of Swiss industry is of particular importance,” underlined Armasuisse.

The industrialists contacted will have to offer “compensatory deals” and “indicative prices as a binding starting point for detailed negotiations with a view to the acquisition as well as information for the determination of life cycle costs”. Their responses must be communicated to Armasuisse by mid-July, with the choice of system to be announced during the third quarter of 2024.

Given that Switzerland has joined the anti-missile shield project launched by Germany within the framework of NATO [ESSI – European Sky Shield Initiative]Diehl Defense is the favorite…

As a reminder, the ESSI aims to pool purchases of air defense systems between participating countries. And the IRIS-T SLM is one of the three systems selected, with the American Patriot and the Israeli Arrow 3. But Armasuisse assures that this will have no influence on its choice.

“Participation in the ESSI does not, however, prejudge the choice of the system, especially since it does not affect national skills in matters of acquisition. The system will be chosen on the basis of the evaluation of different medium-range DSA systems,” assured the Swiss Federal Armaments Office.

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