This week in Austrian defence | April 9

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€19.84m MoD expenditures on external services in 2016 >>> Alouette III retiring in 2020 >>> Alouette III return from Bosnia deployment >>> New force structure: lived in practice, but not formally approved (yet)

TWIAD is your weekly, English-language briefing on national security and defence affairs in the alpine republic. The most relevant news reports, press releases, articles and announcements are recapped and, where necessary, given some context for greater accessibility. Feel free to get in touch with us and give us your feedback and thoughts, ask questions in the comments and join the #TWIAD raucity on Twitter!

€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.

Item Cost
Transport Services €6.59m
Trainings €4,73m
“Task Force Eurofighter” €3.4m
Media and advertisement €0.95m
Other  €4.17m
TOTAL €19.84m

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, 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.

Bundesheer Alouette III in flight. (Austrian Armed Forces Photograph / Zinner)

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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About the Author
Bernhard Völkl

Bernhard Völkl


Bernhard is a reserve officer in the Austrian Armed Forces and works in e-commerce.

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