F-5 Tiger II
At the end of the seventies, the retirement of the Venom and the increased use of the Hunter aircraft for air-to-ground attack caused a gap in the field of air-defence which was to be closed with the Northrop F-5E Tiger II. In 1976 a procurement contract for 72 Tiger fighter aircraft , 66 of the type F-5E (single seater) and 6 of the type F-5F (double seater) was signed.
On January 23, 1997 the Swiss Air Force received the first of 34 F/A-18 Hornet fighters. The Hornet constitute the key-element of the Swiss Air Force untill today. In October 2008 the milestone of 50,000 flight hours has been reached with the type, mainly employed for Air Police task, both in the normal daily work and on the occasion of events as "World Economic Forum" (WEF) or "EURO 08".
PC-6 Turbo Porter
The Air Force procured 6 Turbo Porters in 1976, and at the same time the already operated piston-engined Porters underwent modifications whereby the new high performance turbo-propeller turbines were installed (PC-6 retrofit). The Swiss Air Force utilizes the Pilatus Porter PC-6 as a light transport category aircraft. Its robust design and short-field take-off and landing capability allows it to operate in nearly every region.
PC-7 Turbo Trainer
The Swiss Air Force ordered 40 PC-7 as an initial training aircraft. The PC-7 introduces trainees to aerobatic flight and instrument navigation (IFR). Today the PC-7 is counted as one of the most advanced aircraft world-wide within the category of aircraft trainers. Since 1982 these aircraft have been operated by the Swiss Air Force pilot school. The aircraft are also flown by the PC-7 Team.
AS332 Super Puma / AS532 Cougar
In order to provide the capacity and performance necessary for increased aerial transport requirements, the Swiss Air Force had to procure medium size transport helicopters. In a first step, three Super Puma helicopters were introduced in 1987. With this, first experiences in the fields of operations and maintenance could be gathered and operational concepts were worked out. The order was increased to a total of 15 Super Pumas.
SA316 Alouette III
Between 1958 and 1963 the Swiss Army established a helicopter division comprising of 5-seater Alouette II helicopters. However it soon became apparent that more powerful turbines and greater payloads were needed.
This led to the decision to procure 9 gas-turbine 7-seater Alouette III versions manufactured by Sud-Aviation in France.