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For domestic use only

In Blog, English by Bernhard VölklLeave a Comment

Vladimir Putin’s new nuclear weapons are aimed at the March 18th elections – and Washington’s revised nuclear posture Dwarfed by the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) on the screens behind him, Russian president Vladimir Putin gave his 14th state of the union address on March 1st. The two hour long televised speech started with the promise of a better future and ended with the threat of nuclear Armageddon. Three weeks ahead of presidential elections, Mr Putin need not fear for his job: In a carefully vetted field of contenders whom he declined to debate on TV, he is all but sure to come out on top. But he also knows that that with an economy fresh out of recession, growing at just 2% in 2017 and stagnation ahead, he has little to offer to ordinary Russians. Their standard of living has not improved in a long time, and the president’s promise of a 50% increase in GDP over the next six years must have seemed like mockery to some. An hour into the address, the main event of his subdued election campaign, the message switched to defiance, and things took a far darker turn.

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This week in Austrian defence | April 23

In Blog, English by Bernhard VölklLeave a Comment

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! Eurofighter Typhoon committee of inquiry specifies its schedule The parliamentary committee for the inquiry into the Eurofighter Typhoon deal has penciled in a schedule: sessions are to be held twice a week, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with two to three witnesses per day. The schedule is to be confirmed on May 9, with sessions to commence thereafter. Row over sexist recruitment ad  A media row ensued after the Armed Forces released a recruitment ad containing a pun building on the homonymic German abbreviations for bra and Bundesheer.  The MoD spokesman was quick to admit a mistake and said that the hurried release ahead of a nationwide recruiting event for women had not undergone the usual checks. (Indeed, even the armed forces’ URL was spelt wrongly in the ad.) The headlines dealt a blow to the current recruitment drive for more female uniformed …

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This week in Austrian defence | April 9

In Blog, English, weekly review by Bernhard VölklLeave a Comment

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 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 …

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This week in Austrian defence | April 2

In Blog, English, weekly review by Bernhard VölklLeave a Comment

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! Bundesheer foreign missions: figures updated March 2017 figures were published for the Austrian Armed Forces’ foreign deployments. 1,105 personnel are currently serving in 15 overseas missions. Mission Name Mission Area Personnel EUFOR ALTHEA Bosnia-Herzegowina 313 KFOR Kosovo 474 UNIFIL Lebanon 180 EUTM RCA Central African Republic 3 OSCE Armenia Armenia 1 AUTCON HUN Hungary 50 OSCE SMMU Ukraine 11 RCM Afghanistan 10 MINURSO Western Sahara 5 EUTM Mali Mali 6 EUNAVFOR MED SOPHIA Mediterranean Sea 23 RACVIAC Croatia 1 UNFICYP Cyprus 4 UNTSO Middle East 4 EUMM Georgia Georgia 4 TOTAL 1,105 New commanding general for EUFOR ALTHEA Austrian GenMjr (MAJGEN) Anton Waldner assumed command of EUFOR troops in Bosnia-Herzegowina on March 28. Austria is the largest supplier of troops for the peace mission, with Turkey coming second among 19 partner nations in total. Diplomatic rows between the two top contributors are …

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New weapons and personal gear for Austrian soldiers

In Blog, English by Bernhard VölklLeave a Comment

Featured image: Austrian Armed Forces Photograph / Pusch On March 29, a range of small arms and new personal equipment for Bundesheer soldiers were announced: new assault and sniper rifles, protective equipment, CRC gear, NVGs and uniform items, to name but a few. This article lays out the details and prods the figures.