Swiss Air Force Hawker Hunter F.Mk.58 over the Alps. Germany demanded financial compensation and an apology by the Swiss government. PAYERNE AIR BASE, Switzerland ― Somewhere in Switzerland inside a mountain, there is a secret air base in which a Swiss Air Force pilot fires … First Swiss designed jet fighter, only 1 test aircraft built. With the closure of Sion Air Base in 2016, it will be one of only three fighter bases, along with Payerne Air Base and Emmen Air Base. Trainer after replaced as fighter in 1948. A useful website? Meiringen air base, also known as the Unterbach military airfield, is a Swiss military airbase located near the hamlet of Unterbach and the town of Meiringen, in the canton of Bern. The role of the Swiss Air Force during World War II went through four distinct phases: During the first months of the war, airmen and anti-aircraft soldiers saw only sporadic combat; it was on 10 May 1940, when Germany commenced the drive into the west, that the Swiss army as a whole was mobilized a second time. After World War II it was renamed the Swiss Air Force and Anti-Aircraft Command (Schweizerische Flugwaffe Kommando der Flieger und Fliegerabwehrtruppen) and in 1996 became a separate service independent from the Army, under its present name Schweizer Luftwaffe. The first annual training exercise was acronymed SAKA (SArdinien KAmpagne), first begun 3 January 1985. The new planes had serious manufacturing defects from the poor workmanship and production disruptions caused by Allied bombings, and after complaints the Germans refunded half of the six million Swiss franc purchase price. Twelve were allocated to a reconnaissance squadron, three to a training group and the rest to two fighter squadrons. On 24 February 2008, an initiative to ban the training flights of jet aircraft over tourist areas of Switzerland (virtually the entire nation) to reduce the impact of noise pollution, which had been publicly debated since the delivery of the F/A-18 (which referendum initiator Franz Weber termed "oversized, ineffective, and ruinous"), was defeated by a vote of 68.1%. [3], The outbreak of World War I, in which neutral Switzerland did not take part, and an indifference to air power of the part of the Swiss military establishment prevented the purchase of modern airplanes required to build an effective air force. However the inability to field an air force of sufficient capability to carry out such missions led to a return of traditional doctrine.[2]. The Bambini-Code was developed from the need to communicate via radio links in bad quality in noisy environments, of the aircraft who were used from the Swiss Air Force before the start of the second world war. In 1990, the Swiss Air Force acquired 20 British Aerospace Hawk Mk.66s to provide an interim solution to its jet training requirements, but these were retired in 2003 and sold to Finland. Additionally, Bern is the base for the aircraft and helicopters of the Swiss Government (Lufttransportdienst des Bundes). Two versions, a twin-seat D-model and a single-seat C, were built in the United States and flight-tested in 1996, delivered in December 1996 and 1998 respectively. Initially the Tigers were responsible for air sovereignty below 30,000 feet (9,100 m), but some also took on a ground attack mission as the Hawker Hunters were phased out. The F-5 won the competition against the F-4 Phantom II, Dassault Mirage F1 and Saab 37 Viggen, after the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the Fiat G.91Y and the A-4N Skyhawk passed out the contest before the flight evaluation. On 16 July, the German government declared that the events were settled. Agtlen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 2008, p. 171. Swiss cities and railway lines were repeatedly bombed by Allied aircraft during the war, beginning with minor attacks by the Royal Air Force on Geneva, Basel, and Zürich in 1940. This deficiency was addressed by procuring further German Bf 109 and French Morane D-3800 fighters. In 1995 the Swiss abandoned traditional doctrine and implemented a defensive plan that made control of Swiss airspace its highest and main priority. In the meantime, the Soviet Union was dissolved, and with its dissolution the Cold War ended. Engine trouble forced the German pilot, Wilhelm Johnen, to land at Dübendorf airfield where the pilot was interned. 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