“Air 2030” program test – Payerne, Switzerland

The Swiss Air Force (German: Schweizer Luftwaffe; French: Forces aériennes suisses; Italian: Forze aeree svizzere; Romansh: Aviatica militara svizra) the air component of the Swiss Armed Forces, will have a demo from all the candidates of the “Air 2030” program. The Swiss Air Force operates the Boeing McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets and Northrop F-5 Tigers and both types are scheduled to be retired. Now seek to replace them part of its Air2030 program which includes aircraft and ground-based air defenses worth up to 8 billion Swiss francs ($8.06 billion).

The Swiss Air Force purchased 26 C models and eight D models, all aircraft were delivered between 1996-1999, from the Northrop F-5, 98 F-5E and 12 F-5F were purchased in 1981. At the moment Fliegergeschwader 13 from Meiringen flies the F/A-18 – NATO Tiger member – , Fliegergeschwader 11 and Fliegergeschwader 14 from Payerne flies bot type, the F/A-18 and the F-5, while the Patrouille Suisse demo team flies the F-5 from Emmen.

The official portal of the Swiss Government issued a statement of the “Air 2030” program recently, and named all the candidates, also giving the spotters a unique chance to witness at Payerne this summer.

With the submission of the first offer the phase of analysis and testing starts. From February to March 2019, the specialists from Armasuisse and the Air Force will test the aircraft in the respective simulators.

These activities take place with the candidates and will run parallel to so-called product support audits.

In these audits, the air forces of the producing countries show how the aircraft are operated and maintained and how the training takes place.

Afterwards, the answers to the questionnaire, which the manufacturers had to fill out in the first offer, are evaluated. At the same time, combat aircraft will be subjected to flight and ground testing in Payerne between April and July 2019.

Interested parties can visit the planes in Payerne: For media and spotters are provided for each type of aircraft visiting days, for which one must register.

All information on visiting days will be available on the VBS website from the beginning of April 2019.

The following aircraft will be on display:
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard–delta wing, multirole fighter, it has entered service with the air forces of Austria, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Saudi Arabia. (Airbus)

The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. Besides the US, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the sole operator. (Boeing, USA)

The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. France is the sole operator in Europe. (Dassault, France)

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engined, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. From Europe Norway, Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands will be operating the F-35A in the near future, while Italy, the UK and Turkey the F-35B. Belgium in the end of 2018 had chosen Lockheed Martin’s F-35A stealth jets over the Eurofighter Typhoon to replace its aging F-16s. (Lockheed-Martin, USA)

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa and Thailand operates the Gripen C/D, while Sweden and Brazil have ordered the Gripen E/F which is still in trial and made its maiden flight on 15 June 2017. Supersonic flight & commence load tests were done in 2018. (Saab, Sweden) (photo is Gripen NG)

Spotter and media events will be announced once we will get them.