Gripen Fighter Jets Deal Rejected By Switzerland, Saab Loses Out On $3.5 Billion

The Gripen fighter jets deal proposed by Saab would have cost $3.5 billion, but Swiss voters decided to shoot down these airplanes.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, the Swiss also voted down the highest minimum wage in the world, which would have corresponded to about $4,500 a month. Back in the Untied States, you might be surprised by the names of people who support a higher living minimum wage at a Federal level, although they’re hardly suggesting wages as high as the Swiss.

Switzerland originally awarded the contract to Saab for 22 Gripen fighter jets about two and half years ago, and they would have worked with Sweden on the project. The idea was to purchase the planes in order to replace the Swiss’ aging fleet of military jets. But opponents to purchasing the Gripen fighter jets claimed the plan would cost 10 billion francs over the lifetime of the jets, and that the money should instead be spent on education or upgrading public transportation systems.

The vote against the Gripen fighter jets was a close one, with 53 percent of voters blocking the plan. It’s said that around 55 percent of all the Swiss citizens who were eligible to vote participated. Already, some are saying this move was a surprise since the Swiss generally support votes in favor of the military. For example, last year voters voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping military conscription.

Regula Rytz, a Member of Parliament from the Swiss canton of Bern for the Green Party, says the vote confirms that the government should not be purchasing expensive fighter jets while at the same time saying they’re trying to cut spending:

“It doesn’t make sense that we have to save on the flood protection, that we have to save on the border security and at the same time buy new aircraft.”

But proponents of purchasing the Gripen fighter jets claimed, “Swiss businesses would have received business from Saab and over 500 contracts have already been arranged.” Saab now plans on working out a deal with Brazil in order to share the cost of developing the 60 next generation planes as originally intended. The development and production of the jets will continue as planned when it comes Sweden.