The Patrouille Suisse is an aerobatic team of the Swiss Air Force. The team flies
six Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighter/bomber jets. The Patrouille Suisse was founded
on 8 August 1964 as a part of the Swiss Air Force. The name was taken from the name
of the French Patrouille de France.
The Patrouille Suisse started with four British Hawker Hunter Mk.58s, beginning training
for the EXPO 1964 exhibition in Lausanne and for the 1964 celebration of the 50th
anniversary of the Swiss Air Force. 1965 was the first year in which they had a scheduled
season. In 1970 the Patrouille Suisse acquired a fifth plane.
The performances remained confined to Switzerland due to its strict neutrality. This
changed in 1978 when the team travelled to Salon-de-Provence by invitation of the
French, with six aircraft. In 1991, the team changed the paint scheme to incorporate
the Swiss flag colours (red and white) and the logo for the 700th anniversary of
the Swiss Confederation.
In 1994 the Patrouille Suisse flew the Hawker Hunter Mk.58s for the last time before
transferring to the faster and more manoeuvrable Northrop F-5E Tiger II. In 1996
smoke systems were installed to increase the teams visual appeal.