Aerial display cancelled as cracks found in fighter jet
A Swiss air force display planned for Thursday has been cancelled after cracks were found in the landing flap of a F/A-18 fighter jet.
The display was due to take place over the Axalp near Brienz in central Switzerland, but was cancelled after the cracks were found during an inspection on Wednesday.
As the defects represented a possible security threat, the defence ministry announced that the aerial display – and all future such displays – would be cancelled until the army’s F/A-18 jets underwent further inspection.
However, the jets remain available for other missions and at the disposition of the Swiss aerial police.
In February 2018, cracks were found in the landing flaps of five jets and led to the grounding of the entire fleet for testing.
The Swiss air force currently owns and operates 30 F/A-18 Hornet jets, which have been used since 1997 and are viable until 2030 without being replaced.
The government has nevertheless proposed on various occasions buying new fighter jets and military defences for the army – most recently, a CHF6 billion ($6.1 billion) plan to buy new jets over the next few years that was announced in June.
The government’s plan has yet to be discussed by parliament, and could also land before the people if challenged to a popular vote. In 2014, voters rejected spending CHF3.1 billion on 22 new Gripen fighters from Saab.