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Swiss discontent over F-35 aircraft

Purchased in 2021, now someone wants to cancel order

The Swiss government had decided to purchase 36 F-35A fighter planes produced by the US company Lockheed Martin. Now a left-wing political alliance "Stop F-35", which opposes the purchase of the U.S. aircraft, has announced that it has almost collected the 100,000 signatures needed to organize a popular consultation to cancel this arms order. 

This situation is "very questionable from a democratic point of view", according to opponents. "Because of the rising costs of the F-35, the consequences on foreign policy and the numerous shortcomings of this fighter jet, this debate is urgently needed", they committee explain. 

The dispute is thorny: Swiss citizens approved the purchase in a popular vote in 2020, followed by an allocation of 5.6 billion euros. Then the costs of the US F-35 program increased, so much so that Switzerland set up two parliamentary commissions of inquiry. The government wants to move quickly and confirm the purchase offer by the deadline, scheduled for March 2023. Those opposed, on the other hand, intend to submit this summer the text to be voted on as soon as possible. 

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency