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By Marta Falconi
ZURICH--The Swiss government Wednesday formally asked parliament to approve the planned purchase of new fighter jets manufactured by Sweden's Saab Group (SAAB-B.SK).
Parliament will discuss the budget for Switzerland's armed forces, including a credit of 3.12 billion Swiss francs ($3.28 billion) for the purchase of the jets, next year.
A year ago, the Swiss government chose the Swedish Gripen over the French-built Rafale by Dassault Aviation SA (AM.FR) and Eurofighter, made by European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. (EAD.FR).
The planned purchase has met wide resistance. Some opponents merely contest the type of jet the government plans to buy, while others question outright if Switzerland needs a military air force at all.
If a referendum is called, which seems likely, the Swiss will vote on the purchase in 2014.
Write to Marta Falconi at firstname.lastname@example.org
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