WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department
has approved the potential sale of two types of fighter jets and
several Patriot missile systems to Switzerland as the country
modernizes its military, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
On Sunday, voters of the neutral nation approved a
referendum allowing the government to spend $6.46 billion on new
jets as it seeks to replace its aging fleet of 30 F/A-18
Hornets, which will go out of service in 2030.
The Swiss government plans to decide next year among the
Eurofighter from Airbus, the Rafale from France's
Dassault, Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet, or the
Lockheed Martin F35-A.
In a move that would ease the way for the export of either
of the U.S. jets, the State Department approved the potential
sale of 40 F-35A's spare parts, munitions and training for a
total estimates cost of $6.58 billion.
The State Department also approved the potential sale of 40
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet jets, spares munitions and training as
well as related equipment for an estimated cost of $7.45
The notification process alerts the U.S. Congress that a
sale to a foreign country has been approved, but it does not
indicate that a contract has been signed or negotiations have
In addition, the State Department approved the potential
sale of five Patriot missile systems and related equipment for
an estimated cost of $2.2 billion. Raytheon Technologies Corp
makes the Patriot system.
The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified
Congress of the possible sale.
(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Sandra