Swiss F-35 program: French-speaking industrialists are growing impatient

French-speaking Swiss industrialists who were to benefit from the compensatory measures associated with the Swiss F-35 program for the Swiss air forces, are now speaking out to express their concern, even their annoyance and discouragement, in the face of the obvious lack of progress in this area. , one year after signing the contract. Above all, they echo suspicions of favoritism in favor of Swiss companies based in German-speaking cantons.

When Bern announced its decision in favor of the American F-35A to modernize the Swiss air forces, many voices, in Switzerland, but also in France, were raised to question the sincerity of the offer transmitted by Lockheed-Martin and the United States.

Among the subjects then considered not very credible, the industrial sharing of 3 billion Swiss francs to which Lockheed-Martin had committed, seemed excessive in view of the contract itself, but also of the industrial sharing agreements previously signed in Europe by the American aircraft manufacturer.

In addition, several Swiss personalities, mainly in French-speaking French-speaking Switzerland, were concerned about the lack of transparency surrounding the entire program, and particularly the procedures for awarding compensatory contracts.

The lack of progress around industrial compensation for the Swiss F-35 program

These concerns were apparently justified, at least in part, if we are to believe recent press articles published, again, by the French-speaking Swiss press.

Mecaplex swizerland glassworks
The company Mecaplex, a specialist in aeronautical canopies, has thrown in the towel while awaiting a possible order linked to the Swiss F-35 program.

Therefore, according to Swiss Radio Television, Swiss industrialists, and more particularly French-speaking Swiss, who were initially to benefit from these compensation measures, are beginning to despair at the lack of progress in this area, despite the countless meetings they have had with Lockheed-Martin over the past year. that the contract has entered into force.

Some of them, like the company Mecaplex based in Grange in the canton of Solothurn, a recognized manufacturer of aircraft canopies often cited as a reference by Lockheed-Martin, have even thrown in the towel in the face of the lack of progress in this area.

However, it seems that this perception is not uniformly distributed in Switzerland. Indeed, still according to RTS, it appears that what resembles suspicions of favoritism in favor of companies belonging to German-speaking cantons are emerging among Roman-speaking industrialists.

Suspicions of favoritism against French-speaking industrialists

Indeed, the majority of contracts signed to date, which would cover up to half of the CHF 3 billion promised by the aircraft manufacturer, have been to these Swiss companies belonging to German-speaking cantons, and more particularly the company Ruag , based in Bern, which could well prove to be the big winner of this operation.

Swiss F-35 industrial compensation program
The industrial compensation surrounding the Swiss F-35 program is probably handicapped by the commitments made elsewhere by the American aircraft manufacturer.

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