Israeli defense firm Elbit selected to provide Swiss army with tactical radios
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Israeli defense firm Elbit selected to provide Swiss army with tactical radios

Deal pending approval by Switzerland’s parliament is said to be worth $200-300 million; Elbit chosen over 14 other bids

Luke Tress is a video journalist and tech reporter for the Times of Israel

Illustrative: Soldiers guard a power plant near Kueblis, Switzerland, Jan. 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Keystone, Ennio Leanza)
Illustrative: Soldiers guard a power plant near Kueblis, Switzerland, Jan. 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Keystone, Ennio Leanza)

The Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit announced Tuesday that it had been selected to provide the Swiss army with a radio communications system.

The contract, which is pending approval by the Swiss parliament, is valued at $200-300 million, according to Hebrew media reports.

Elbit said it was chosen to provide the Swiss military with a radio solution after lengthy testing by Swiss defense authorities, and was selected by the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport.

The company will provide Switzerland with a communications platform based on its E-LynX family of tactical software defined radio solutions.

“We are proud to have been selected to provide such an important capability to the Swiss Armed Forces. Switzerland is a strategic market for us and we will continue with our efforts to support the Swiss Armed Forces and expand our cooperation with the Swiss industry,” Elbit’s president and CEO, Bezhalel Machlis, said in a statement.

 

The Swiss military plans on buying the equipment sometime next year, it said. The order will replace its mobile radio devices and vehicle intercom systems, which are scheduled to end their service lives between 2018 and 2022.

Switzerland started looking at replacements for its communications equipment in 2015, initially inviting 15 companies to submit tenders.

Elbit eventually beat out the Swiss communications company Roschi Rohde & Schwarz AG, Ittigen, a subsidiary of Germany’s Rohde & Schwarz, to win the contract.

Elbit has previously worked with the Swiss military in a deal that sparked some controversy in Switzerland.

In 2015, Elbit sold Switzerland surveillance drones at an estimated cost of $256 million.

The deal was contentious in Switzerland, with opponents calling on the country to not invest in the Israeli military industry due to what they called its violations of human rights against the Palestinians.

The Swiss defense minister said that Switzerland bought the drones from a private company, and that the drones would only be used for border surveillance.

Swiss defense officials were censured in 2017 for observing drone tests in the Golan Heights.

The Swiss defense ministry said the officials were not aware the airfield they visited was located in “occupied territory” and their visits to the site were “contrary” to the policies of the country’s foreign ministry, and that Swiss officials would no longer be allowed to visit the area.

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