The recent decision by the Swiss Federal Council (SFC) to acquire the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) as Switzerland’s next-generation air defense aircraft has made it all but official: the F-35 is fast becoming the free world’s dominant fighter. The Swiss conducted a comprehensive technical evaluation which found that the F-35A “has the lowest operating costs of all of the candidates evaluated.” The SFC’s decision follows close on the heels of similar choices made by Poland and the UAE. It is important to note that these countries, and others such as Israel, Japan, and South Korea, decided to acquire the F-35 based not just on its fifth-generation features, but also because of the global “ecosystem” that has been created to support it, including training, logistics, and maintenance. I have written more on the emergence of the JSF as the free world’s combat aircraft here.
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