Switzerland rethinks new fighter planes

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Switzerland could cancel plans to buy 20 new fighter planes due to the high cost.

Zurich -- Switzerland could cancel plans to buy up to 20 new fighter planes after the defence minister voiced fears over the cost, a Swiss daily reported on Thursday.

France's Rafale jet, made by Dassault, the Grippen, made by Sweden's Saab, and the Eurofighter Typhoon, made by a four-nation European consortium, were involved in the deal.

Defence Minister Ueli Maurer argued before the Swiss cabinet on Wednesday that replacing the aging fleet of war planes would be too expensive, the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources.

No final decision was made, it added. A government spokesman told AFP that he was "unable to confirm" the report.

"The issue of fighter planes was discussed. No decision has been taken and discussions are ongoing," the spokesman said.

Switzerland had planned to spend between CHF 2.2 to 2.5 billion (EUR 1.7 to 2.4 billion) on up to 20 fighter planes to replace its F-5 Tiger aircraft, some of which are more than 30 years old.

newspaper reported that the Swiss defence ministry now believes that it could cost up CHF 7.0 billion.

Switzerland had planned to choose the supplier by early 2010.

AFP / Expatica

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