ACCESS: Top Secret
- Jan 10, 2013
- Reaction score
Abraham Gubler said:The presence of a clear and present danger has never been an exclusive reason for national defence. If this were the case then Switzerland would be a long way down the list of countries that wouldn’t need an air force.
That is true, but in most other cases the armed forces have more than one role. For example, the RAF's fighter force deals with air policing, is also large enough to provide a credible defence against an air attack on the UK, and is also used in a power projection role abroad, including combat missions in air-to-air and air-to-ground roles.
In comparison, the Swiss air force deals only with air policing, and that only during office hours. Being entirely surrounded by NATO nations, an air attack against Switzerland could only happen in the case of a major European war, in which case a very small force of fighters would be irrelevant.
Still, I was not really serious about the Swiss scrapping their air force (however logical that might be) as it provides one of the badges of national sovereignty. But there really doesn't seem much point in buying a top-line multi-role combat plane for air policing. One of the new supersonic advanced trainers would be adequate for that for about a quarter of the price - the South Korean KAI T-50 or the Italian M346.