From 10 to 11 May, the Head of the DDPS will be attending the Munich Leaders Meeting in Washington. This meeting will bring together ministers and top experts for informal discussions on current security policy challenges. Bilateral talks between government representatives will also take place on the fringes of the meeting. Federal Councillor Viola Amherd will also attend the official dinner for the meeting at the Capitol, which will be hosted by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
Bilateral meeting with Deputy Secretary of Defence Kathleen Hicks
Ms Amherd will exchange views with the US Deputy Secretary of Defence, Kathleen H. Hicks, on the war in Ukraine, the current security situation in Europe, and consequences for security policy. International cooperation will be a key focus of the talks. The agreement on bilateral military cooperation, which came into force in April 2020, forms the basis for Switzerland’s increased cooperation with the USA.
The Air2030 Programme will also be discussed at the meeting. Switzerland plans to procure 36 F-35/A fighter aircraft and a new ground-based air defence system (Patriot); both are manufactured by US companies.
Offset transactions under the Air2030 Programme
The agreement to procure new fighter aircraft includes an offset obligation of 60% of the contract value. This will generate significant added value for Switzerland. In order to promote offset business and establish useful contacts, Ms Amherd has asked industry associations and companies to send representatives to Washington. While on her trip to Washington, the Head of the DDPS will also pay a visit to Lockheed Martin.