Armasuisse made a first evaluation of the Gripen, Rafale and Eurofighter in 2008. Several Air to Air and Air to Ground trials were performed by the 3 contenders, in Switzerland, in order to assess their relative efficiency in different roles.
A second Evaluation was done between March and August 2009 to take into account the upgrades and improvements of the 3 fighters in their "2015 form". This evaluation was based on data provided by the manufacturers or simulated flights. This final Armasuisse report, with updated rankings was released in November 2009 and is recommending the Rafale for the Swiss Air Force (confirming the rumors heard during the last 2 years).
In this report, each capability is ranked on 9 points, 6 points being the minimum score to meet the Swiss Air Force requirement (We understand that the 6 points benchmark would be the F/A-18C score)
|©Basler Zeitung November 30, 2011|
- The Rafale is ranked first with 7.28 and 7.41 points,
- The Eurofighter second with 6.49 and 6.54 points,
- The Gripen is third with 5.68 and 5.62 points. Therefore it does not manage to pass the threshold of 6 points.
Various quotes from the report :
"Rafale and Eurofighter showed generally better performance than the F/A-18, Gripen worse"
"The performance of the Gripen in air-air engagements as well as attack missions was insufficient"
"The most limiting factors of the Gripen design were the operating time, the flight performance and the maximum weapon load"
"The Rafale is the only aircraft that has met the requirements of the Air Force in all types of applications"
So the report is quite clear regarding the capabilities of the 3 aircrafts:
1- The Rafale is the best technical performer and thus recommended as the Tiger replacement.
2- The Rafale was ranked above the Eurofighter in both Air defense and ground attack missions.
3- The Gripen has serious weaknesses and is considered as a step back compared to the F/A-18 operated by the Swiss Air Force.