Swiss army procures from firms on investment blacklist

The Swiss army ordered six Hermes 900-type drones from an Israeli company blacklisted for investment purposes. Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

Arms manufacturers that have been recommended for exclusion by the Swiss Association for Responsible Investments (SARI) are linked to Swiss army contracts, a newspaper reports. 

This content was published on August 17, 2020 - 10:50
SDA-Keystone/ac

One such company is the Israeli defence firm Elbit Systems. The Swiss army ordered six Hermes 900-type drones from Elbit in 2015 at a cost of CHF250 million (around $256 million at the time). According to the SARI report, Elbit was blacklisted because the group took over the Israeli arms manufacturer IMI Systems. The company produces cluster munitions, which are outlawed worldwide as the unexploded bombs can explode years after a conflict killing or maiming civilians.  

The Swiss army not only purchased surveillance drones from Elbit, but also awarded the company a contract for new telecommunications equipment.  

According to the Tages-Anzeiger paper, the Swiss National Bank disposed of its Elbit shares shortly after the company was included on the SARI exclusion list. The Swiss pension fund Publica has also put Elbit on its exclusion list. 

Another company that is on the SARI list is the American defence giant Lockheed Martin Corporation, as it manufactures cluster munitions and anti-personnel mines. However, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet is among four aircraft under consideration by the Swiss army to replace its ageing fleet budgeted at CHF6 billion ($6.1 billion). 

The majority of blacklisted companies are of Chinese or Indian origin. 

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