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€19.84m MoD expenditures on external services in 2016
The Austrian Ministry in Defence in a response to MP Nikolaus Scherak’s parliamentary inquiry revealed its 2016 expenditures for externally sourced services, totalling €19.84m. This equals about half of the government’s total stated expenditures of €42.2m in that category. The figure does not, however, include all ministries.
|“Task Force Eurofighter”||€3.4m|
|Media and advertisement||€0.95m|
A comprehensive tabular list of all stated expenditures can be found here (German).
Alouette III retiring in 2020
Contrary to what has been reported last month, Austria’s venerable Alouette III helicopters are not going to remain in service until 2025, but scheduled to retire in 2020. According to Milnews.at, there will be no direct successor and pilots will be retrained for the AB-212.
The AB-212 has been touted a poor substitute by flyers behind closed The Alouette’s unrivalled high-altitude capabilities in the Austrian arsenal makes them ideally suited to support mountain infantry.
With the prospective retirement of the ten remaining OH-58 Kiowa that same year, the numbers of Bundesheer rotorcraft are poised to dwindle a mere 32 (23 AB-212 and nine UH-60 “Black Hawk”). Acquisitions of replacement helicopters have been announced for years, but no tender has been issued so far.
Alouette III return from Bosnia deployment
Three helicopters, stationed in Bosnia as part of EUFOR ALTHEA since December 2009, have returned to Austria on April 4. Tasked mainly with MEDEVAC duties, but also used in transport and disaster relief missions, they logged 3.530 in the nine-year period.
New force structure: lived in practice, but not formally approved (yet)
On January 1, the Austrian Armed Forces assumed their new force structure, one that affects around 70% of all posts.
According to recent information however, the new structure is still several months away from formal approval: The structure, already lived in practice, has only in part been presented to the chancellery, which has the final say. This is not without consequence for daily routines however, as budgets are still allocated according to the old structure. Similarly, posts that are rendered vacant cannot be re-staffed until the new structure is formally approved.
Final approval usually takes around six months. Accordingly, the new structure is expected to be signed off in September at the earliest – if no snap elections come in the way.
Featured image (top): Austrian Armed Forces Photograph/Markus Zinner
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