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The Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) of the Swiss Federal Government has explained the need for new projects for the Swiss Armed Forces to both chambers of parliament (National Council and Council of States). The sum required for this, equivalent to €2.1Bn, is divided between the armament programme (€770M), the procurement of army material (€696M) and the real estate programme (€566M).

The main focus of the armament programme is the procurement of 60 PIRANHA IV wheeled  IFVs with:

  • a weapon station
  • supplemented by clearing shields
  • grappling arms
  • training equipment
  • replacement material
  • documentation and training material

€325M have been budgeted for this programme with delivery to begin in 2025.

Other Requirements of the Swiss Armed Forces

The expansion of the C2 networks with their IT systems is to be continued at a cost of €161M. The IT infrastructure also includes the data centres, which are to be expanded and hardened at a cost of €71M.

The transport capacities for increasingly mobile operations are to be maintained by procuring trailers, while examples that have been used up will be replaced at a cost of about €60M.

The NBC protective suits stored in the 1990s no longer meet the requirements and must be replaced. €108M has been earmarked for 160,000 operational suits and 57,000 training suits which will be procured from 2022 are to be used until 2048.

Last but not least, the procurement of simulators for shoulder-launched multi-purpose weapons is on the agenda. The new weapons procured in recent years must be integrated into the live simulation system for combat training of infantry and armoured troops. €46M will be needed for procurement from 2022. The simulators are to be available from 2024.

“Procurement of army equipment” includes project planning, testing and procurement preparation, the constant need for renewal of equipment as well as the procurement and management of ammunition.

Behind the armament programme, there are usually negotiated contracts with the selected suppliers for the individual projects, which can be signed after approval by the two chambers of parliament. According to the timetable, the National Council will deal with the Armeebotschaft in the summer session (31 May to 18 June 2021) and the Council of States in the autumn session (13 September to 1 October 2021).

Gerhard Heiming