The U.S. State Department has given the U.S. Defense Department the thumbs up for a potential $700 million sale of Patriot air defense missile systems to Switzerland.
On Nov. 15, the DoD’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the State Department had provided its approval “on a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Switzerland of PATRIOT Advanced Capability (PAC) 3 Missile Segment Enhanced (MSE) missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $700 million.”
If the $700 million sale goes through, Switzerland would be able to buy up to 72 of the missile defense systems. The sale would also cover costs for telemetry kits; missile round trainers; missile skid kits; launcher stations heater controls; classified missile repair and return documents; classified and unclassified spare parts; a field surveillance program and quality assurances.
The Patriot missile sale would also provide U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics technical assistance; flight test support; flight test targets; and other related elements of logistical and program support.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly European nation that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress within Europe,” the DSCA said.
Switzerland is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance, but maintains generally positive relations with the U.S. and other European nations within NATO. Switzerland has maintained a consistently neutral stance for decades and the U.S. State Department says “U.S. policy toward Switzerland takes these factors into account and seeks to cooperate with Switzerland to the extent consistent with Swiss neutrality.”
NATO says it also “fully respects Switzerland’s neutrality.”
The DSCA said “Switzerland will use the PATRIOT system and missiles to defend its territorial integrity and for regional stability. The proposed sale supports Switzerland’s goal of improving national and territorial defense as well as interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces.”
The DCSA said the sale “will enhance the capability of Switzerland’s PATRIOT missile defense system” and the country “will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.”