Air2030 procurement program entries will be under pressure to excel in areas other than cost

Following the news that Switzerland’s Armasuisse has received four proposals for the Air2030 procurement program;

Anthony Endresen, Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“The competing national entries from Germany (Airbus Eurofighter), France (Dassault Rafale) and the USA (Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed-Martin F-35A) will be under great pressure to deliver on the specific aspects the Gripen was perceived to have failed on. With the then-selected Gripen voided through direct democracy voting, the pressure will be on these entries to excel in areas other than cost, with the latter controversially the decisive point for Saab’s previous entry.

“With the heightened interest in the process of selection, as well as the exceptional level of direct democracy involved in the decision, the process is expected to become highly political after the technical assessment of proposals has concluded in the first quarter of 2021.

“From the perspective of politics, European solutions would seem to have the upper hand, with the German’s in particular likely to integrate and co-operate to a high degree, not least because the proposal is for Tranche 4 platforms. The German Airforce has ordered such Tranche 4 Eurofighters, boosting its prospects in Switzerland.

“Key questions hang over the F-35 in this process, including timeline issues arising from F-35 operational difficulties with ALIS/ODIN and the number of countries seeking procurements in the available batches. Switzerland will be expecting to operate these platforms for 30–40 years from introduction in the 2025–2030 period, but will be focused on associated systems and munitions development in this regard. The recent German procurement of further Tranche 4 Eurofighters suggests future weapons systems will be developed to integrate with the platform over this service life, for this tried and tested platform.”

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