Geneva (Dec. 22)
The Defense Ministry announced here today that the Swiss army intends to buy from Israel engines and cannons for the 300 Centurion tanks the army bought from England. Apparently the tanks did not function properly and the British manufacturing firm could not rectify the problem.
A spokesman for the Defense Ministry said the army feels that Israel’s arms industry has the proper equipment and fittings for the tanks. Two Israeli converted Centurions will be shipped to Switzerland in March to see how the Swiss-owned tanks can be converted along similar lines.
A contract to be signed with Israel stipulates that Israel will be paid two million Swiss Francs for every Centurion it converts. The entire deal is expected to net Israel 600 million Swiss Francs.