Switzerland Approves New Arms Budget

22 February 2010 (Last Updated February 22nd, 2010 18:30)

The Federal Government of Switzerland has approved a CHF529m ($492m) armaments plan for 2010. The armaments plan is specifically assigned to three acquisition projects, which include a logistics package for the EC635 light helicopters purchased under the 1995 armaments plan. T

The Federal Government of Switzerland has approved a CHF529m ($492m) armaments plan for 2010.

The armaments plan is specifically assigned to three acquisition projects, which include a logistics package for the EC635 light helicopters purchased under the 1995 armaments plan.

The plan also includes CHF474m ($440.9m) to replace the aging Swiss military vehicles with new-generation vehicles and systems, and a helicopter logistics package for 20 light transport and training helicopters.

The new fleet of military vehicles will adopt civilian standards in an effort to significantly reduce the acquisition and maintenance costs. These vehicles will be less mobile off-road, and their lifetime will be limited to 15 years.

The new generation of vehicles includes a total of 2,526 vehicles and specialised systems such as trucks, trailers, delivery vans, cars, wheel loaders and forklifts.

An additional CHF24m ($22.3m) has been earmarked for a helicopter logistics package for 20 light transport and training helicopters procured under the 2005 armament plan.

The helicopter logistics package includes other logistical parts, maintenance tools, systems verification and testing.

In addition, two more PC-21 turboprop training aircraft will be purchased for the training of fast jet pilots.

The two aircraft will join the existing fleet of six PC-21 turboprop training aircraft procured under the 2006 armaments plan. The additional aircraft will increase the number of pilots able to train each year to eight, which will maintain the requisite number of F/A-18 pilots.