While the Swiss authorities are evaluating the performance and specific features of the aircraft competing for the replacement of its F5 and F18, each manufacturer, supported by their country of origin, is trying to highlight the strengths of its offer. In this Maelstrom of information, it is sometimes difficult to put things right, and to determine objectively which aircraft would best meet the needs of the Swiss air force for the next 40 years. To do this, we will assess each device and each related offer, in an analysis grid of 10 objective criteria, addressing the operational, technical and political aspects of each offer. We will therefore study SAAB's Swedish offer with the JAS 39 E / F Gripen, the French Dassault Rafale F4, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Boeing A / F 18 Super Hornet and the Lockheed-Martin F35A.
1- Maneuverability of the device
Switzerland is a very specific theater for exercising air superiority, and possible air support. Anyone who has ever had the chance to see the dexterity of the Swiss Mirage III or F5 pilots flying through their mountains will be convinced. Maneuverability is therefore an essential factor for a combat aircraft in Switzerland, the aircraft having to operate in a very mountainous and very complex environment, often near summits. In this area, two aircraft stand out for their ability to maneuver at low and medium altitude, close to the ground, like the Gripen and the Rafale, obtaining a score of 5. The Typhoon being initially designed for high altitude, its maneuverability at low and medium altitude is inferior, like the F18, which does not benefit from the aeronautical design of the more maneuverable Eurocarnards, obtain a rating of 4. The F35 is not a maneuvering aircraft, it was not designed. for this, and its performance in this area is inferior to that of an F16. He is credited with a grade of 2.
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