US wants to buy ‘retired’ Swiss fighter jets for training purposes

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The American navy is in talks with the Swiss army to purchase 22 decommissioned F5 Tiger fighter jets to help train its pilots in air warfare.

According to the SonntagsZeitung paper , a sum of $40 million has been set aside in the 2020 “Presidential budget” for the procurement of the Swiss planes. Armasuisse confirmed that talks took place in summer, but a contract has yet to be signed. The American defence budget has to first be approved by parliament before the deal can go through. Delivery is expected to be in 2021.

The Swiss F5 Tiger jets are around 35 years old and cost around half a million Swiss francs a year to remain idle. A few years ago, the US Navy had purchased 44 Tiger jets and repurposed them to play the role of enemy planes during training exercises.

Switzerland had purchased a total of 100 Tigers from the US of which 53 remain. Of these only 26 are operational but only because the Swiss voted against procuring new Gripen fighter jets in 2014.

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