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Swiss could buy up to 70 new combat jets

Staff Writer |
Switzerland could eventually be in the market for as many as 70 new fighter jets or as few as 20 under scenarios laid out on Tuesday by a defense ministry task force.

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The most expensive and powerful option would be to buy 55-70 aircraft and ground-based air defense weapons for an estimated 15 billion to 18 billion Swiss francs ($15.3-$18.4 billion), according to the report.

It did not say which aircraft the government should consider.

The least expensive option would be procuring 20 jets and accompanying ground-based air defense systems for 5 billion francs.

Other options called for buying 40 or 30 new aircraft plus surface-to-air defense support.

Switzerland is looking to replace its fleet of Boeing McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C and D Hornets and outdated Northrop F-5 Tigers, all of which are scheduled to be retired in the 2020s.

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