Federal Councillor Viola Amherd holds phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III

Bern, 08.04.2021 - On 8 April, Federal Councillor and Head of the DDPS Viola Amherd spoke on the phone with her American counterpart, Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, about current security policy issues, bilateral relations and the Air2030 programme.

The Head of the DDPS and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III discussed bilateral cooperation between the Swiss defense ministry and U.S. Department of Defense, and the possibility of expanding said cooperation. The bilateral cooperation agreement on military training, which has been in force since last year, as well as the two departments’ most recent exchange on security and defence policy issues serve as a basis. Possible future areas of cooperation such as cyber defence, new technologies to improve energy efficiency, and the advancement of women in the armed forces were also discussed, as were current developments in the security situation and both countries’ response to the pandemic.

A further topic of conversation was the Air2030 programme. Federal Councillor Amherd spoke with her American counterpart about the status and next steps in Switzerland’s planned procurement of new fighter aircraft and a system for longer-range ground-based air defence (GBAD). Two American fighter aircraft are currently among the models being considered; an American company has also submitted an offer for a long-range GBAD system.

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Mireille Fleury
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Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports