ZURICH May 18 Swiss voters on Sunday narrowly
blocked a $3.5 billion deal to buy 22 Gripen fighter jets from
Saab, a projection showed, scuppering the
government's air defence plans and dealing a blow to the Swedish
Around 52 per cent voted against a government proposal to
free up funds to replace Switzerland's aging fleet of Northrop
F-5 Tiger fighters with the Gripen jets, according to a
projection by Swiss television.
About 48 percent were in favour in the country which has not
fought a war in 200 years.
"Now it's practically clear, the Gripen will not be bought
today," Claude Longchamp of the gfs.bern research and polling
institute told Swiss television SRF.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Andrew Heavens)