As part of our effort to inform discussions and follow the politics surrounding the acquisition and use of drones more closely, we continue to create profiles of each European country. Switzerland has now been added to our map; the analysis can be found here.
Switzerland has operated drones for reconnaissance purposes since 1998. It’s current fleet consists of 15 small tactical ADS Ranger drones, which are used to gather data and are unarmed. There is no indication at this moment that Switzerland is planning to acquire or produce armed drones. However, the Swiss did join a consortium with other European countries to develop the nEuron combat drone, a technology demonstrator model. Moreover, in 2014 Switzerland announced the plan to buy six Hermes 900 HFE” drones manufactured by the Israeli Elbit Systems company. The purchase was extremely controversial and led to a serious political debate in Switzerland.