24 April 2019 – AIR 2030 – A new fighter for the Swiss Air Force
The Swiss Confederation has a surface that covers a little’ less than twice the Lombardy but has about 1,5 million less than the Italian region, this because of the area for most mountain. The small nation in the middle of the Alps has always defended its neutrality, Thanks to the particularly organized Armed Forces and strongly integrated with the civilian population. Currently the Swiss Air Force are equipped with residues Northrop F 5E Tiger II entered service in 1975 and the McDonnell Douglas F / A 18 Hornet purchase in 1993 (which you can find the monograph AviaSpotter). In the early twenty-first century Switzerland began looking for a new aircraft to replace the small twin-jet Northrop and invited different manufacturers in a race whose winner will be awarded the contract. Airbus participated with Eurofighter, Dassault with Rafale, McDonnell Douglas with version E F 18 and the Saab JAS 39 Gripen. At the end of the confrontation, the 30 November 2011 He was declared the winner which proved Gripen, And in version. As usual it was a referendum to consult citizens on purchase decision. The 18 May 2014 the population vetoed the decision and the purchase fell through.
Other years have passed and the situation, if possible, it is further complicated. Even Hornet begin to feel the weight of years and lately some specimens were subjected to a reinforcement program of some structural components on which they were detected to fatigue.
At this time the Schweizer Luftwaffe expected that F 18 will last, until no later than 2030 mentre in Tiger, even now they can be used for air policing service only during the day and in good visibility conditions and would have no chance of success against an opponent equipped with modern aircraft.
For this is a new competition has been made. The participants are the same with the addition of the Lockheed Martin F 35A.
The big news is the mode in which you play the test: in four days of flight, for each of the candidates are performed a total of eight missions (including one night) with one or two units in which is verified performance characteristics of the aircraft and as specified in the tenders. Also, for each participant, a day was organized involving the participation of the media (the morning) and fans (the afternoon) so that they can see and photograph up close, in action, the competitors. The tests will be held in strict alphabetical order according to the manufacturer's name:
- Airbus, OF, Euro Fighter: in the weeks 15 and 16
- Boeing, USA, F/A-18 Super Hornet: in the weeks 17 and 18
- Dassault, FR, Gust: in the weeks 20 and 21
- Lockheed Martin, USA, F-35A: in the weeks 23 and 24
- Saab, HE, Gripen E: in the weeks 25 and 26
The Eurofighter test has already taken place in Payerne where last 9 April came 2 Typhoon (a mono and a two-seater) del 41° Test and Evaluation Squadron della RAF, representing the configuration currently most advanced fighter. The day organized for media and spotter was last 12 April (places have been rapidly depleted) and the 16 the planes were guests in Meiringen for testing access to the hangar in cave.
Next appointment, at this point, the oldest granddaughter of the twin-jet already in the Swiss Air Force file, l’F/A 18E, the 30 April (and, I anticipate, AviaSpotter….it will be). For this event the places you are quickly exhausted. The dates of the events are as follows
Airbus, Euro Fighter:
Event for printing: Friday 12 April 2019 (morning)
Event for spotter: Friday 12 April 2019 (afternoon)
Boeing, F/A-18 Super Hornet:
Event for printing: Tuesday 30 April 2019 (morning)
Event for spotter:Tuesday 30 April 2019 (afternoon)
Registration from: Thursday 18 April 2019 (PLACES FOR SPOTTER OUT)
Event for printing: Tuesday 21 May 2019 (morning)
Event for spotter: Tuesday 21 May 2019 (afternoon)
Registration from: Thursday 9 May 2019 at 9 o'clock
Lockheed Martin, F-35A:
Event for printing: Friday 07 June 2019 (morning)
Event for spotter: Friday 07 June 2019 (afternoon)
Registration from: Tuesday 28 May 2019 at 9 o'clock
Saab, Gripen E:
Event for printing: Tuesday 25 June 2019 (morning)
Event for spotter: Tuesday 25 June 2019 (afternoon)
Registration from: Thursday 13 June 2019
For those interested, the address for entries to upcoming events is as follows: https://www.ar.admin.ch/it/aktuell/veranstaltungen/nkf-spotter-anlass.html (This page is multilingual, just change through the buttons in the upper right).
Stay tuned for more news and photos.
Text: AviaSpotter.it – Swiss Air Force