The Swiss government has designated the F-35A Lightning II as the country’s next-generation fighter jet, according to a report by Reuters.
Switzerland placed the order for 36 F-35A fighter planes last month following an evaluation that determined the aircraft would deliver “the highest overall benefit at the lowest overall cost.” According to U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth), this deal would benefit North Texas tremendously.
“The F35 program is vital to our North Texas defense and aerospace sectors,” Veasey stated on Twitter. “This news is a welcome step to bolster international security and will secure good-paying jobs for Texans who are getting back on their feet as we continue to rebuild from #COVID19.”
The F-35A Lightning II is produced by Lockheed Martin, an American aerospace and defense company based in Forth Worth Texas, according to a report by the Dallas Express.
In a letter, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Forth Worth) encouraged Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin to visit Forth Worth to “see firsthand the work being done in FortWorth and the critical role F35s play in our national defense.”
“The story of Fort Worth and the 12th Congressional District of Texas is one of America’s national security,” Granger said in her letter. “Generations of North Texans have worked tirelessly on production lines of the world’s most advanced aircraft, including the F-16 and the F-35.”
Additionally, the Swiss government agreed to purchase the Patriot surface-to-air missile system from American manufacturer Raytheon as part of an effort to modernize its air defenses.
“The Federal Council is confident that these two systems are the most suitable for protecting the Swiss population from air threats in the future,” the government said in a statement.
The F-35A outbid several other European fighter planes, including Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Rafale from France’s Dassault and the four-nation Eurofighter built by Italy’s Leonardo, Britain’s BAE Systems and Airbus representing Germany and Spain.
The fighter jet’s purchasing costs amounted to 5.07 billion Swiss francs, falling short of the 6 billion francs set by voters, while total operating costs amounted to 15.5 billion francs over a 30-year period.