Defense stocks Boeing, Lockheed consider big fighter deal as richer contract looms

Switzerland is set to choose a new fighter jet on Wednesday with offers of Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) vying for a $ 6.5 billion deal. Defense actions were on the decline.


Boeing’s F / A-18 Super Hornet, Lockheed’s F-35, Airbus’ (EASY) Dassault’s Eurofighter and Rafale are among the competing aircraft.

Swiss voters approved a $ 6.5 billion spending plan for the “Air2030” program with a very fine margin of 50.2% in October.

The new fighter jets would replace the Boeing F / A-18 Hornets of the Swiss Air Force and Northrop Grumman (CNO) F-5 Tiger scheduled for decommissioning in 2030.

The F-35 was the winner of the technical criteria, Swiss broadcaster SRF announced on Monday. But some members of the cabinet would prefer a European construction jet like the Eurofighter or the Rafale, which is French.

“It certainly looks like the Rafale is having a great chance here, but I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point,” Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia said via email.

The stealth F-35 is the only fifth-generation fighter in the competition, the others being less advanced fourth-generation fighters.

The four fighters along with Saab’s Gripen are also vying for an $ 11 billion Finnish order expected later this year. Finland’s contract will be one of the largest acquisitions of air weapons in Europe.

Boeing shares fell 0.6% on the stock market today. Lockheed shares finished just above the breakeven point. General Electric (GE), which makes the engines of the Super Hornet, lost 1.2%. Raytheon Technologies (RTX), which makes the engines of the F-35, decreased by 0.7%.

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Biden touts US defense actions

Swiss President Guy Parmelin has touted the merits of US planes after meeting with President Biden in Geneva last week.

“Mr. Biden recalled the excellent quality of the two American planes,” Garmelin said. “I reminded him that we have an ongoing process, which was decided a long time ago, and that the government will make its decision based on the process currently underway.”

In October, the US State Department informed Congress of the possible sale of up to 40 Boeing Super Hornets and 40 Lockheed F-35A fighters to Switzerland, subject to contract award.

Obtaining the Swiss contract would give a significant boost to American defense values.

According to the Defense and Security Cooperation Agency at the time, 40 F-35s for Switzerland would have an estimated cost of $ 6.58 billion. The F / A-18 Super Hornet is said to cost $ 7.45 billion.

Follow Gillian Rich on Twitter @IBD_GRich for aviation news and more.


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