Switzerland will vote on the purchase of new fighter jets. Many oppose the idea, saying the country can neither afford nor need warplanes. “Who is our enemy? Who is attacking a small, neutral country surrounded by NATO?” Social Democratic MP Priska Seiler asked.
Thomas Hurter, a Member of Parliament for the Swiss People's Party, said Switzerland should protect itself without relying on other countries. “If we don't replace the old planes, it means we don't have air power, we no longer have protection, and we can't fulfil our constitution,” he added.
Voters will vote on Sunday (September 27th). Confirming funding in a binding referendum would allow the government to decide in 2021 between Airbus's Eurofighter, France's Dassault's Rafale, Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet or the Lockheed Martin F35-A Lightning II.
About $6.6 billion worth of budgets are planned for the platforms to be purchased.
The planes will replace Switzerland's fleet of F/A-18 Hornets, which will be out of service in 2030.