- The Council of States approved a loan of $ 6 billion to purchase 36 new F-35 fighters and $ 2 billion for the Patriot ground defense system.
- The Little Chamber also wants to postpone the recall of the F-5 Tiger Patrouille Suisse jets until 2025.
- Like the National Council, the Council of States aims to gradually increase military spending to one percent of gross domestic product by 2030. This means that today’s budget could be 5.3. to about 7 billion Swiss francs.
The lower house discussed the enormous increase in the military budget this morning. The motion, adopted by 32 to 11 votes in favor, calls for a gradual increase in the military’s budget to 1%. gross domestic product by 2030.
Specifically, the 2023 military spending ceiling is to be increased by CHF 300 million. From 2024, military expenditure is expected to grow year by year to reach one percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2030, or around seven billion francs.
The additional money is intended to accelerate the modernization and equipment of military units, as Commission spokesman Werner Salzmann (SVP / BE) emphasized. Thanks to this growth, it was also possible to make targeted investments and precise planning. “There are skills gaps today.”
Zieloni / SP: “Try”
The Greens and the SP were against the movement, but stressed that they were not against security measures in principle. Mathias Zopfi (Greens / GL) would prefer to talk about increasing military spending from a broader perspective. Increasing military spending is now “senseless and irresponsible.” Eva Herzog (SP / BS) spoke of “a hit exercise without a meaningful concept.”
The Federal Council is already implementing the request, said Defense Minister Viola Amherd. “In view of the security situation, it is advisable to close existing gaps in the army’s capabilities faster than previously planned.” It is about replacing old systems for ground forces or cyber defense. According to Amherd, planning of what to order and when is not yet complete.
Clear line for quick supply of the F-35
As a first council, the small chamber then debated the commitment credit required by the Federal Council approximately 6 billion francs for 36 new F-35A fighters. Another CHF 2 billion is allocated at the “Army Embassy 2022” for the US-type Patriot ground defense system. In each case, the proposals were expressly accepted.
At the same time, it was confirmed that the Federal Council can and should sign agreements with the Americans before the expiry of the offer and a possible referendum by spring 2023. Now the case goes to the preliminary advisory committee of the National Council.
Against the decommissioning of the F-5 Tiger from 2025
Unlike the Federal Council, the Small Chamber wants to wait with the decommissioning of the obsolete F-5 Tiger fighters, which today can only be used in training and in good weather for the air force police service. However, as part of the Patrouille Suisse aerobatic team, the machines are also the figurehead of the Swiss army. The decommissioning as early as 2025 is also not advisable from a security policy point of view, it has found the majority of the middle class with 24 to 18 votes and wants to continue to incur annual operating costs of 25 million.
Legend: “The F-5 is not just any plane, but a Patrouille Suisse plane,” emphasized Alex Kuprecht (SVP / SZ). The replacement of 12 squadron jets – for example, with propeller planes – is unthinkable. The air squadron inspires thousands of people at home and abroad. The F-5 fleet will also offload FA-18 fighters by 2030, Kuprecht says. key stone
Supplementary report on security policy in the fall
Open the box. Close the box
The Council of States took note of the Federal Council’s report on security policy. As in the March debate of the National Council, the discussion was shaped by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The Federal Council approved the report as early as November, several months before the Russian attack on a neighboring country.
The newspaper, however, was not overtaken by topicality, said Defense Minister Viola Amherd. Even then, attention was drawn to the danger of escalation in Eastern Europe – it was stated that Russia was aspiring to the sphere of influence and was ready for a conventional war. The events of the Ukrainian war showed that people were thinking in the right direction.
Amherd intends to submit an additional report to the Security Policy Report, announced in March, by the autumn session at the latest, which aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the consequences of the war in Ukraine.