Sunday, January 29, 2012

Switzerland, Dassault strikes back

The Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reveals today that Dassault Aviation has made a new offer to Switzerland for 18 Rafale on January 19, 2012. 

The price would be CHF 2.7 billions (€2.2 billions) some CHF 400 millions (€331.7 millions) cheaper than the 22 Gripen offered by Sweeden.

With this offer, each Rafale would be only 6 % more expensive than a Gripen, which is a real bargain considering the additionnal capabilities of the French fighter (range, load):
  • Gripen offer : CHF 3.1 billions for 22 jets or CHF 141 millions per aircraft
  • Rafale offer : CHF 2.7 billions for 18 jets or CHF 150 millions per aircraft

Indeed, Dassault claims that a fleet of 18 Rafale has equivalent efficiency as 22 Gripen, a fact confirmed by a high ranked officer of the Swiss army interviewed by the Newspaper, who states that 3 Rafale/Eurofighters were able to fulfill the same missions as 5 Gripen. Besides, SonntagsZeitung reports that the French offer would also includes unlimited access to French Air Bases, as well as the possibility to use French simulators, training areas ower the Mediterranean sea and French logistic during international exercises.

Le Matin Newspaper reports that the new French offer will be for a Rafale with the same avionic/sensor suite, air defense capabilities and offset package but with fewer Air to Ground options (No pylons for heavy bombs for example) in order to better match Switzerland needs. Moreover, access to Helios reconnaissance satellite and French AWACS data would also be in the package.

On Tuesday January 24, The Security committee of the National council had decided to check that the selection procedure was devoid of any irregularities or cheating after they received a letter signed by a mysterious "groupe pour une armee credible et integre" (Group for an honest and credible army) revealing that several parameters of the evaluation would have been changed in order to favor the Gripen (some even claim that without those "corrections" the Gripen wouldn't have passed some of the minimum thresholds set by the Air Force). Eventually, the informations leaked by the letter were juged serious enough by the security committee  to ask for an investigation. (Dassault New offer to Switzerland) (possible investigation on Gripen selection irregularities)

also read :
Federal Council chooses the Gripen
Armasuisse ranks the Rafale first


  1. 150 ME is including everything ? simulator, training, weapons, ammo, etc .. ?

  2. That is a really good news indeed.

  3. Good news. Unlikely to reverse Switzerland's decision, though.

  4. In terms of operational cost, Gripen is probably significantly less than either Typhoon or Rafale.

    Between capability, operational cost (not just up-front cost) and industrial offset, the later two will probably be weighted more by the Swiss. Swiss and Swede face similar threat environment and therefore defense requirement, after all.

  5. Gripen and the current Swiss F18 use the same engine, the GE F404, which makes maintenenance, spares parts and training a lot easier and cheaper. With Rafale the Swiss operations cost would be much higher.

  6. Back in 2003, Dassault has tried such a strategy also in Austria. Initially, I think they pulled the Mirage 2000 from the competition.

    When it turned out that Austria decided for the Eurofigher, which was complete overkill for simple air policing, and after the Eurofighter purchase became a bit of scandal, because of corruption etc., they put in an offer to undercut the EADS offer. They argued that it was surprising that Austria needed a 4th generation fighter, now as they clearly want to have one, why not take the Rafale for €500 Million less than the EF.

    Unfortunately it did not work then, the process conscious Austrian authorities said: "The decision has been made"

    I doubt that jumping the queue works well in the Germanic countries, but I keep my fingers crossed.

    Sources (German):

  7. I'm the author of the article in the "Matin Dimanche" and the "SonntagsZeitung" / twitter: @titusplattner

    @raffeur Yes, it's all includes weapons, ammo, infrastructure, etc. Simulator is not necessary, because swiss pilots will have the training slots in France.

    the CHF 2.7 billions for 18 Rafale is with a change rate of CHF 1.20 for 1 euro
    the CHF 4.0 billions for 22 Rafale was calculated with a change rate of 1.30 for 1 euro, as asked by the Swiss Federal departement of finance
    that means that Dassault (who wants to be paid in euro) made a discount of about 15%.

    The swiss evaluation had ten modules. The Rafale won the two flight modules (flight tests + projected flight capabilities).

    The Rafale also won the module about the ability to maintain a an alert status during a long period, and the module about military cooperation.

    For the noise pollution module, the three competitors had about the same score. These results are public:

    This is also the case for the industrial cooperation module. EADS, Dassault and Saab had about the same score. But Saab has more contracts with Ruag, (100% state owned).

    The five other modules are unknown yet. But there is a financial module, a module about the "Eignung" (adequacy to Switzerland - infrastructure). I guess there were also weapon module and an avionics module. And a module about about aircraft maintenance

    Gripen won the financial module and the module about aircraft maintenance costs. These two scores allowed the Gripen to (just) reach the minimal note of 6/10.

    If you have any infos for me, please contact me at


  9. I really don't get some parts of this story.

    "additionnal capabilities of the French fighter (range, load)"
    Combat radius of the Gripen NG is 1300 kilometres with six AAMs plus drop tanks, and 30 minutes on station. Ferry range of the Gripen NG is 4070 km with drop tanks. Compared to the Rafale, which has a ferry range of 3700 km and a combat radius of 1852 km without 30 minutes on the station, the Gripen NG offers a fairly similar type of range.

    The combat load on the Gripen NG is anything but small.
    8 GBU-39 (4x2)
    4 GBU-49 (2x2)
    4 Meteor (2x2)
    2 IRIS-T
    1 Litening pod

    16 GBU-39s (4x4)
    4 Meteors (2x2)
    2 IRIS-T
    1 Litening pod

    10 Meteor (4x2+1+1)
    2 IRIS-T
    1 1100L-tank
    1 Litening pod.

    "a fact confirmed by a high ranked officer of the Swiss army interviewed by the Newspaper, who states that 3 Rafale/Eurofighters were able to fulfill the same missions as 5 Gripen."
    How could that be a fact? It would be a statement that could have been backed by a "high ranked army(!?) official". Considering the Gripens work like the F-5's would have, are cheaper to operate, have lower MTBF and are based on the C/D Gripens (which were able to land on a short road-base, be re-fueled, re-armed, updated with new mission data and take of in less than 15 minutes by the hand of 4 conscripts and 1 technician. Considering that the Gripen doesn't have any disadvantages when it comes to either speed, agility, maneuverability or lacking of supercruise, I don't see how those accusations could be anywhere near justified.

  10. I'm working hard to obtain the mentioned document. More news next Sunday.

    1. The Swiss have apparently not received any such offer. Even Dassault's own news paper "Le Figaor" reports that:

    2. The Parliment recieved the letter, not the government. That's why the government can't confirm...

  11. No lies of Dassault can make a requirement for 22+ aircraft for a stated amount (or less) of money, satisfied by 12, 18 or 21 aircraft.

    1. The Saab offer is not 3,1 billion CHF.

      It's much lower.

  12. @Lander Done... :-)