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  #61  
Old 01.10.2011, 22:52
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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The fact is that any fighter purchase will be an offset transaction, meaning that the value of the order given to the winning bidder has to be returned to Swiss companies to the same value (or whatever the agreed terms are). This basically means that the deal is not going to effectively cost the Swiss tax payer CHF 5 billion, so it's not like the usual array of arguments can be brought out about usefully spending the money elsewhere on hospitals, schools or sanctuaries for disabled donkeys.
sounds too good to be true.
About " the deal is not going to effectively cost the Swiss tax payer CHF 5 billion"
Come on, suppose the winning bidder really does place orders here; what percentage will eventually get back to the Swiss tax payer - if lucky & and the companies that get the orders do not have really first class tax lawyers, then maybe 5%?
Naive or what?
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Old 02.10.2011, 05:29
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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Q. does switzerland need new fighter jets?
A. no they don't. they should just make do and mend.
What do you mean by "mend" ? It was checked whether to "mend" the F-5 for another 15 or 25 years and the conclusion was that such a "mending" would be more expensive than new fighters

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Mend what?

Some of the hornets have over 1,000,000 hours the last time I heard. There's no "mending" that, it's actually cheap to buy a new one; if of course you expect them to stay in the air while they pull their pretty circles over the international summits.

It's either buy new, or abandon the air force as a whole.
It is NOT the F-18 which are to be replaced, it is the F-5 which are to be replaced. As the F-5 are much older. The F-18 are to go on for quite a while

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Fact is Switzerland is not a member of NATO and I will gladly bet a months salary that Switzerland will not be a member of NATO within the next 10 years.
NATO is a military pact, and just as the other neutral countries in Europe, Finland, Sweden, Austria and Ireland, Switzerland is NOT to join such a pact. The only one of those mentioned here might be Sweden who might conclude to give up neutrality. Finland and Austria are bound to neutrality on the basis of their treaties with Russia while Switzerland and Ireland are not to give up neutrality

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Any former military guys/gals here?

I could imagine that strictly militarily it is absolutely necessary for Switzerland to have an air force. Switzerland (being the small country it is) has no strategic depth to absorb an attack, therefore must have capability to strike first and project power beyond its borders.

Of course, this is not necessary if:
a) the swiss don't mind being attacked
b) the swiss believe that the world is full of friendly people who will never disagree with and do harm to others

Aside from this, what if Swiss interests are at stake far beyond its borders? Will you call the Germans and ask them to please lend you some aircraft?
As I said above, Switzerland either needs the air force or does not need armed forces at all. The idea of having your own armed forces is NOT the illusion that the country would have a serious chance to defend against a sizeable attacker but
- to have a deterrant
- to force a potential attacker to consider the "entry price"

In regard to your question above about "military guys", if your question refers to officers my answer has to be NO, if it regards to soliders it is YES

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can someone enlighten me as to some of the scenarios that the swiss air force are supposed to get involved in?
Sure, here some scenarios which have been considered
-
> Some dictator in the Balkans conquers Austria and wants to expand westwards and sends his fighter bombers over here
> France, as a result of social and regional turmoil breaks up into pieces &
-- b) one army corps attacked by another corps simply wants to flee into Switzerland. Somebody has to take over the refugee army and to ward off any possible attacke of the other
-- c) a new local ruler of the Burgundy wants to grasp parts of Switzerland and needs to be kept back
> a terrorist-minded dictator somewhere in the South or Southeast wants to attack either Germany or France and wants to use Swiss territory as a transit-corridor. The Swiss Air Force (in conjunction with the Austrians) would ward them off and give the Germans and/or French the minutes needed to defend

Such scenarios really have been considered in Switzerland and manoeuvres were done to check up what really could and ought to be done.

The F-18 was chosen however by an officer corps who still was rooted in the times of the Soviet block, but in a way is a dinosaur. What the Swiss armed forces rather need is something like the A-10 . Both the Rafale and the Eurofighter are viable choices. But as far as I see the top-brass here they might rather opt in favour of an F-18-Super-Plus

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South Africa bought 26 SAAB Gripen.Could be a good
option?
You have to have something to defend all the Swiss money.

http://www.saairforce.co.za/the-airf...ft/20/gripen-c
The Gripen in fact IS the choice of people I know with some serious knowledge about those things. But in the past those real experts were put onto the sideline by commercial and political interests. This is why my options rather are either Eurofighter or Rafale. It is mostly political.
Eurofighter = Merkel + Cameron
Rafale = Sarkozy

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I certainly did not and I was born long after 1952...


They were actually 35.6%

Wishful thinking?
MY vote was NO ! I either simply had it wrong in my memory or it was just some local result. Whatever, so sorry

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Swiss neutrality did not prevent Napoleon from invading the country. Swiss armed neutrality did prevent Hitler from invading the country... there were more factors, sure, he was almost going to launch the invasion when the eastern front needed more troops and so he had to abandon the plans, but without the swiss military deterrent factor those plans would have been easier and so the invasion carried out before too.

The current modern scenario is of course very different, I doubt any neighbour would like to invade Switzerland, but who can tell what could happen in the future?

I do think a strong military is needed, the conscription system kept alive and new purchases for the army being made. I'm not so sure about those planes, though. The country won't launch attacks over other countries, so wouldn't it just be possible to build a passive land-to-air defense system? or are those systems too much outdated and vulnerable?
>> When Napoleon invaded, Switzerland did NOT have a federal army but a bunch of Cantonal armies
>> Nazi Germany was kept off by a mix of "gentlemen's agreements" and the threat of a considerable "entry price" which did NOT keep off granddad in Schaffhausen from sending his daughter into exile to Lausanne for a few months and only making the call back when the DR army corps of around Donaueschingen was dispatched to the Ostfront
-
>> the conscription thing, now only kept up by Switzerland, Austria and Germany is definitely outdated. It is to be replaced by a professional army, much smaller in regard to manpower, but same in regard to firepower

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In WWII Germany never had a concrete plans to attack Switzerland. The troops that were drawn together near the Swiss boarder in 1941 were part a deception manoeuvre.
Possible, but the troops there were definite ATTACK troops. I do not say that they had "concrete" plans, but they obviously HAD considerations. And if Germans have considerations it means that they already have quite precise ideas

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  #63  
Old 02.10.2011, 06:45
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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sounds too good to be true.
About " the deal is not going to effectively cost the Swiss tax payer CHF 5 billion"
Come on, suppose the winning bidder really does place orders here; what percentage will eventually get back to the Swiss tax payer - if lucky & and the companies that get the orders do not have really first class tax lawyers, then maybe 5%?
Naive or what?
The offset business is NOT "the winning bidder really placing orders" but that
A) parts of the planes, as part of the contract, will be produced here
B) Swiss companies, as part of the contract, are to deliver parts to the producer in fixed quantities
C) Swiss companies, as part of the contract, will produce spares for the new planes
-
This means that the actual costs will be lowered considerably. This has been done in the past quite successfully. The Mirage was chosen over the Starfighter because the French were far more co-operative in those times. Interesting was to see at the Sion Air Show that the French were not around with the Rafale, the Germans made two Eurofighter shows per day and really spectacular ones. I wondered why the Germans are so heavily interested in a deal with small and commercially complicated Switzerland.
-
Just a bit of speculation, but in fact likely: Swiss companies deliver Eurofighter components to the Germans. They deliver the stuff also to the other partners in the Eurofighter-program and so indirectly could lift the German share in the program and their influence The French for their Rafale however have Farner Aerospace as their assistant supporter in Switzerland which gives them a nice position nevertheless. AND just as in the times of the Mirage-Starfighter competition the French have their interest holders both within the Swiss military and within the Swiss top echelons in politics already.

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  #64  
Old 02.10.2011, 11:13
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

Offset transactions have various aspects to them, each deal is unique. After the AS532 Cougar helicopter purchase for example back in 1998, Swiss companies received a host of different orders not directly concerned with that particular model at all, for example building drop fuel tanks for the Rafale jet, a very low technology piece of work and no transfer of useful technology. It's also very difficult to actually administer the amounts of the offsets for their true value, it's part of the game. If you take a look a little further afield, the next major fighter aircraft purchase program is over in India, where technology transfer is as important as much as the financial offset; all American bidders have been eliminated from that competition prior to the final choice later this year.

If this fighter procurement does ever go ahead, state aerospace and armaments concern RUAG will get the lions share of the work anyway. RUAG perform all the major maintenance work for all of the Swiss Air Force's types, thereby sidestepping any possible competitive bid process or encouraging the Air Force to perform their own deep level maintenance.
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Old 02.10.2011, 15:26
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

besides, the question should probably not be whether switzerland needs new fighter jets, but whether it needs it more than anything else. 5bn is a lot (and probably 5bn becomes 20bn knowing typical military corruption procurement).

i think 5bn of fiscal measures to help the swiss economy might be better. although if they bought from the french, i'm sure they would welcome the cash too.
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Old 02.10.2011, 15:41
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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I do not see a Swiss air force as any sort of credible deterrent.

The best approach for the Swiss is the current one.

You have a lot of military trained people who have weapons at home plus hidden weapon stocks.

Any invader would have a very tough time, for example, see Iraq & Afghanistan as examples of how local people can inflict damage on a foreign occupation army. Think how this would be in Switzerland where there are many properly trained local people with modern(ish) weapons. Plus an infrastructure designed for this purpose; I mean roads & bridges prepared for explosives. Any invader, even if they could make a quick & successfull entry into the country, would have to have 24 hours per day guards on these weak points.
This is overly simplistic, threats do not have to mean an invasion, it could also mean - for example - Iran launching a ballistic missile.
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Old 02.10.2011, 15:42
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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About " what if Swiss interests are at stake far beyond its borders?"

How would this work?
First the Swiss would have to get permission from surrounding countries to overfly with armed aircraft.
Secondly the Swiss would have to borrow some suitable tanker aircraft or some suitable remote airfields to extend the fighting range of their fighters.

Does not sound like a credible scenario to me.
Actually, it is perfectly credible as it happens on an almost daily basis between virtually all western european countries.
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Old 02.10.2011, 20:09
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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The offset business is NOT "the winning bidder really placing orders" but that
A) parts of the planes, as part of the contract, will be produced here
B) Swiss companies, as part of the contract, are to deliver parts to the producer in fixed quantities
C) Swiss companies, as part of the contract, will produce spares for the new planes
-
This means that the actual costs will be lowered considerably. This has been done in the past quite successfully. The Mirage was chosen over the Starfighter because the French were far more co-operative in those times. Interesting was to see at the Sion Air Show that the French were not around with the Rafale, the Germans made two Eurofighter shows per day and really spectacular ones. I wondered why the Germans are so heavily interested in a deal with small and commercially complicated Switzerland.
-
Unfortunately on the F/A-18 contract the offsets achieved proved in the end to be less than 10% of what was promised. This time around they have to do much better.

As for people advocating drones, anti aircraft artillery, surface to air missiles, etc:

- Drones: they are the game changer of the last 10 years but *none* of them have the performance to make a good interceptor. Also, very few UAVs are stealthy, despite claims. They are mostly ISR and bomb trucks, able to stay on station for nearly a whole day depending on model. So for Air to Ground, yes they'll do fine *in unopposed airspace*.

- The other thing about drones is they've leveled the playfield so much that even small organizations, let alone proper militaries, can field them with ease and quite a lot of oomph. Some Kiwi even designed a 5000$ cruise missile five or six years back. That means that "safe" airspace can be penetrated very easily. Imagine a few UAVs hitting the Cressier petroleum complex, or Basel... or the UN in Geneva.

- The UK had the same idea about surface to air missiles (SAMs) and AAA in the derided 1957 White Paper that nearly killed the aerospace industry and many an advanced project, including TSR2 (not the tv channel) and supersonic v/stol P.1054 . You'd have to setup your defences like North Vietnam to achieve true coverage, when 3 squadrons will do that for you and a lot more. A total waste of money. Remember ISR (intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance) can also be done by fighters: just add a pod !

- Some missions need explicit go ahead once you're on site, ie intercepting a rogue airliner/UAV. You need eyes on target and around target to decide to shoot or not. UAVs don't have proper area awareness yet.

- quite a lot of this *could* be done with combat helicopters (Switzerland has none, just light or medium transport choppers) for surface interception, and UAVs for surveillance.

- The cost of these aircraft is peanuts compared to the AHV budget.
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Old 02.10.2011, 21:09
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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Who, who, who? Who will conceivably invade Switzerland in the next 30 years?
Again, referencing U.S. history, we asked that same question about ourselves on December 6th, 1941 and we were thinking along those same thoughts on September 10th, 2001. Both times we were wrong. The cost of one was a massive 4-year war across the entire globe, and the cost of the other is still yet to be determined.

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Old 02.10.2011, 22:02
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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besides, the question should probably not be whether switzerland needs new fighter jets, but whether it needs it more than anything else. 5bn is a lot (and probably 5bn becomes 20bn knowing typical military corruption procurement).

i think 5bn of fiscal measures to help the swiss economy might be better. although if they bought from the french, i'm sure they would welcome the cash too.
A) NO, this is not the question. The replacements for the F-5 are simply needed, not more nor less than "anything else". The question very simply is whether Switzerland needs its own armed forces or not. If it does, it also needs those replacements for the F-5. If not, the armed forces are no longer needed
B) a procurement in conjunction with a good offset program would both produce jobs and new technology and by reducing the federal surplus also reduce the upwards pressure on the CHF and so save millions of CHF otherwise needed to ward off those financial criminals (sorry, I mean "investors" ) and so will be well invested

In view of how badly the F-18 program works, not least in regard to the spares for the planes, the right thing would be to return them all back to the sender, and ask Mr Medvedvew to sent replacements asap ..... Suppose that such is a language the chaps in W-DC might understand !


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Old 03.10.2011, 09:50
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

I'd contend that if Switzerland wishes to maintain a meaningful military force, then the new jets are required. The F-5E/F fleet was pretty much obsolete even at the point of procurement thirty years ago and had no useful combat rôle other than surveillance. These days it has no BVR (Beyond Visual Range) capabilities, cannot carry the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile or the latest 9X Sidewinder and the AIM-9P it can carry are so outdated, that they too can be considered antiquated.

Knowing that Armasuisse tested the three aircraft types, but not the EASA radar version of the Gripen (we played with the JAS-39C), the Rafale and Eurofighter would appear to be the favorites, especially as the Air Force favors two engines. There were some rather weird test parameters included in the evaluation such as take off and landing noise levels. This can be directly influenced by the rate of climb after take off and sink rate during landing, but hardly reflects on the combat qualities overall for each type! Only in Switzerland!

The downside if a new type is selected and enters service is that the withdrawal of the F-5 Tiger fleet will mean the end of the Patrouille Suisse aerial display team. We should still be flying the Hawk, but as that also fell to local politics and noise levels, we now have a small fleet of PC21 prop trainers. Like I wrote, we're all armchair experts when it comes to airplane selection here in Switzerland.
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Old 03.10.2011, 10:46
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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There were some rather weird test parameters included in the evaluation such as take off and landing noise levels. This can be directly influenced by the rate of climb after take off and sink rate during landing, but hardly reflects on the combat qualities overall for each type! Only in Switzerland!
As a Swiss citizen and taxpayer I'm honestly shocked that they include such nonsense in the evaluation of a fighter jet. That's beyond ridiculous!
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Old 03.10.2011, 11:07
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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As a Swiss citizen and taxpayer I'm honestly shocked that they include such nonsense in the evaluation of a fighter jet. That's beyond ridiculous!
Agreed Mark. But the citizens of Brienzwiler (Meiringen) and Emmen seem to have their own parameters when choosing an airplane. People who live around Buochs profited from the airport and local industries for years, yet when the southern facing slope above Ennetbürgen expanded with rich folk in expensive villas, they objected to jet noise. Gliders would probably be their chosen tactical fighter of choice.....
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Old 03.10.2011, 11:13
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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Agreed Mark. But the citizens of Brienzwiler (Meiringen) and Emmen seem to have their own parameters when choosing an airplane. People who live around Buochs profited from the airport and local industries for years, yet when the southern facing slope above Ennetbürgen expanded with rich folk in expensive villas, they objected to jet noise. Gliders would probably be their chosen tactical fighter of choice.....
i add my vote to using gliders instead. quieter and saves money
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Old 03.10.2011, 15:49
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

Was there any conclusion as to what they're actually needed for, i.e. what roles or mission profiles they are required/expected to fulfil?
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Old 03.10.2011, 16:14
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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Was there any conclusion as to what they're actually needed for, i.e. what roles or mission profiles they are required/expected to fulfil?
Is there ever WJ? The F-5s fulfill the aerial surveillance rôle, meaning they're not good enough for genuine air-to-air, either BVR or close range, but they're cheaper and militia compatible so you presently get to keep three semi-squadrons occupied. (This was always the case, the Tigers were never front line heavy metal; they also backed up the Mirage previously in the 1980s and 1990s or Hornets more recently). The Tigers also fly some missions "against" anti-aircraft units as target tugs (towing banners behind them). Although the Air Force fly several "ident missions" with both military and civilian aircraft crossing through Switzerland's airways, that's very much a nine to five, office hours deal. There is no 24 hour QRA facility, although the Air Force would very much like to be tasked with that, because it would give them a meaning for all the training.

What came first, the threat or the means to combat the threat?

What no one is actually saying is that the new type will replace both the Tigers and the Hornets within about 10-15 years anyway by default, so it is rather important that the selected type has some longevity, not just in the airframe, but also in the software and electronics architecture for future upgrades. The mistake with the F/A-18C/D Hornets was that Switzerland was pretty much amongst the last customer for the traditional Hornet before McDD (now Boeing) switched their production efforts to the Super Hornet and it was no longer possible to purchase identical C or D models to enlarge the existing Swiss Hornet fleet at the time in the late 1990s. File under: Missed opportunity.
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Old 03.10.2011, 16:19
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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Was there any conclusion as to what they're actually needed for, i.e. what roles or mission profiles they are required/expected to fulfil?
the conclusion was that there wasn't really a need for new planes. they can keep the existing ones to do a spot of flying around for fun, taking a gander over switzerland, and maybe doing the odd interception of hijacked civilian aircraft.

regarding actual air-to-air combat, switzerland would not have enough to make a difference between not having any airforce, except for the marginal deterrent value, which they have without buying new aircraft.
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Old 03.10.2011, 16:28
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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...if the whole subject does go to a referendum, every voting member of public will immediately consider themselves an aerospace expert and military strategist and have an opinion...
So you came to EF to get a "head start" on opinions then?
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Old 03.10.2011, 16:34
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

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So you came to EF to get a "head start" on opinions then?
I'm ahead of the curve on this one buddy
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Old 03.10.2011, 16:36
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Re: Does Switzerland need new fighter jets?

the reason that switzerland even has the luxury of debating this matter is because the US spends billions each year on having the most advanced war machine in the world capable of projecting its power to every potential conflict zone. if ever western europe and our ideological allies encounter a real threat, they know we will be there to stand up for them.

as a citizen whose taxes contribute to your security, you are welcome in advance
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