The US Government and Lockheed Martin have officially proposed the sale of the F-35 aircraft to Switzerland to replace its ageing fighter jets through the New Fighter Aircraft (NFA) competition.

The move comes a day after Airbus and Germany placed their bid offering Eurofighter aircraft to the Swiss Government.

The US and Lockheed Martin proposal offered up to 40 F-35A aircraft, a sustainment solution meeting Swiss autonomy requirements and a comprehensive training programme.

The proposal also offered substantial work opportunities for the local industry, if F-35 is selected by the Swiss Government. Industrial work will be carried out in all Swiss regions.

Switzerland will also benefit from the European F-35 economies of scale, reducing sustainment costs for the Swiss Air Force.

Lockheed Martin also offered a six-month spares package to enable the Swiss Air Force to conduct autonomous operations.

The company also offered to assemble four aircraft in Switzerland that will help in gaining a better understanding of F-35’s advanced capabilities.

F-35 Program vice-president and general manager Greg Ulmer said: “We are confident that our F-35 offer is the best and most affordable solution for the Swiss NFA competition.

“We are offering the only fifth-generation fighter at the cost of fourth-generation aircraft while offering Switzerland an aircraft that will protect Swiss sovereignty for decades to come.”

Currently, there are more than 585 F-35s in service with nine countries operating the aircraft on their home soil.

In 2018, Switzerland launched the multibillion NFA competition to replace its ageing fleet of F-5 fighter jets.

The assessments of the bids are expected to be completed by the end of this year.