ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss voters backed the government’s plan to spend up to 6 billion Swiss francs (5.07 billion pounds) on new fighter jets in a surprisingly close referendum that was won with a 50.2% majority, official results showed on Sunday.
Opinion polls had shown the plan would easily win approval in a country where armed neutrality is a tradition.
Approving funding in the binding referendum will let the government decide next year among the Eurofighter from Airbus, the Rafale from France’s Dassault, Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, or the Lockheed Martin F35-A Lightning II.
The aircraft would replace Switzerland’s ageing fleet of 30 F/A-18 Hornets, which will go out of service in 2030.
New jets are to be delivered by 2025.
Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Alison Williams and Barbara Lewis
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