Forces: February 17, 2002


Switzerland is reorganizing its military, reducing it from 355,000 to only 199,000 by 2010. The existing corps, division, and regimental command levels will be eliminated. There will be four military districts and eight brigades. Military forces will be organized into about 90 units (battalions, aircraft squadrons, and other units) that can be grouped under the various headquarters as needed. About 1,600 troops (all of whom volunteered for the duty) would be available for international peace support missions. The entire fleet of 110 F-5 Tiger fighters and the squadron of 14 Mirage fighters will be retired and replaced by 40 new multi-role fighters. A new anti-missile defense system will be purchased, as well as more Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Thirteen infantry battalions will be given wheeled armored personnel carriers, while others will get tracked carriers. A new battalion of 18 armed tactical transport helicopters will be ordered. The Rapier anti-aircraft system will be modernized.--Stephen V Cole


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