Swiss Department of Defense Pushes Back on F-5 Sale Rumors

By Dan Darling, Forecast International

Switzerland’s Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sports has shot down media rumors that some of the Swiss Air Force F-5 Tiger combat aircraft have been sold to Uruguay.

Swiss F-5E
Swiss F-5E

Currently the Swiss Air Force operates 50+ F-5E and F-5F Tiger II fighters, purchased between 1976 and 1981, whose airframes are at the end of their useful service lives. These are complemented by 32 newer F/A-18E/F Hornets.

Whether or not to replace the F-5 Tigers hovered over the Swiss political scene for the past four years until a popular referendum held on May 18 terminated government plans to replace the Tigers with 22 new-build Gripen E fighters, at a cost of CHF10 billion ($11.2 billion). Following the referendum, the Swiss government opted to shift the monies ring-fenced for that project – under an earmark referred to as the Gripen Fund Law – toward other ministries.

The Swiss Air Force’s F-5 fleet had been slated for retirement in 2016, a move that would drastically reduce its combat aircraft inventory and leave the service with one remaining fighter platform: the F/A-18E/F Hornet.

What to do with the F-5s remains the responsibility of Switzerland’s bicameral legislature, neither house of which opted to even consider the Defense Department’s plans to decommission the F-5 fleet. Defense Minister Ueli Maurer has stated that without a parliamentary decision on whether or not to approve the retirement of the Tigers, the fleet will remain in operation.

About Forecast International

For over 45 years, Forecast International intelligence reports have been the aerospace and defense industry standard for accurate research, analysis, and projections. Our experienced analysts compile, evaluate, and present accurate data for decision makers. FI's market research reports offer concise analysis of individual programs and identify market opportunities. Each report includes a program overview, detailed statistics, recent developments and a competitive analysis, culminating in production forecasts spanning 10 or 15 years. Let our market intelligence reports be a key part of reducing uncertainties and mastering your specific market and its growth potential. Find out more at www.forecastinternational.com

View all posts by Forecast International →