Switzerland Proposes Budget Hike for Fighter Jets Deal

24 August 2010 (Last Updated August 24th, 2010 18:30)

The Swiss defence ministry is planning to spend CHF5bn ($4.80bn) on 22 new fighter jets. Defence Minister Ueli Maurer has plans to hike the procurement budget for new jets that will replace the aging Northrop F-5E/F Tiger fighters. A Swiss defence ministry spokesman confirmed

The Swiss defence ministry is planning to spend CHF5bn ($4.80bn) on 22 new fighter jets.

Defence Minister Ueli Maurer has plans to hike the procurement budget for new jets that will replace the aging Northrop F-5E/F Tiger fighters.

A Swiss defence ministry spokesman confirmed that a final request would be presented to the cabinet in September.

Maurer will also propose the overall defence budget be raised by CHF2bn ($1.9bn) to CHF6.3bn ($6bn) annually to finance the deal.

Plans to reduce the size of the Swiss Army from 135,000 to 96,000 staff will also be included in the proposal, according to Reuters.

The ministry has said the deal, which had an initial price tag of CHF2.2bn ($2.1bn), became unpopular due to economic crisis.