Austria Military

Defense

The defense is based on general military duty with an initial service of seven months, followed by either immediate continuation of emergency preparedness units for another month or rehearsal training for a total of 30 days over eight years. The alert force in Austria (2007) amounts to about 40,000 men and consists of two mechanized brigades and three infantry brigades, etc., and a fighter jet with 40 fighter aircraft, of which 12 currently leased F5-E Tiger II and 28 SAAB 105Ö (light attack aircraft). From 2007, the 12 F5 plan will be phased out against 18 Eurofighter Typhoon. A fleet of 80 helicopters is used extensively not only for military purposes in the Alpine landscape. Normally about 66,000 people are trained for rehearsals annually. The reserves amount to about 100,000 people. The material is (semi) modern and of Western origin.

Defense costs fell from 1.2% to 0.5% of GDP in 1985-2007. Austria’s total defense has many similarities with Swedish, and contacts with Sweden have been extensive since 1955. The armament of the modern Eurofighter is a new development. Austria participates in UN peacekeeping operations with allies in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR), in Serbia/Kosovo (KFOR), in Syria/Israel (UNDOF) and with observers in another seven countries.To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that AUS stands for Austria.

Austria Army

Austria has general military duty, with a first-time service of six months. The country is neutral, but joined the NATO Partnership for Peace program in 1995. According to IISS figures, in 2018, the total force numbers included 21,200 active personnel, and a reserve of 157,900 personnel.

The Army and the Air Force are not separate arms branches, but components of a common force. Army personnel strength was in 2018 about 11 550. Heavier materials included the 56 tanks of a Leopard 2, 112 armored vehicles, and 78 armored personnel. The Air Force had a personnel force of 2700 in 2018. Materials included 15 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, 66 helicopters, 32 training aircraft (of which 18 Saab 105 which can and can be used as light attack aircraft), and 11 transport aircraft.

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Austria has not had any kind of navy since the Danube flotilla disbanded in 2006.

Forces abroad

Austria participated in 2018 in UN operations in Cyprus (UNFICYP) with five personnel, in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 182 personnel, in the Middle East (UNTSO) with four observers, and in Western Sahara (MINURSO) with seven observers.

In addition, in 2018, Austria participated, among others, in the EU operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) with 344 personnel, in the NATO operation in Serbia (KFOR) with a personnel force of 508, and in the NATO operation in Afghanistan (Operation Resolute Support). with 17 personnel.

Domestic Policies

After the 1953 elections, there were a number of unity governments between the People’s Party and the Social Democrats. The prime ministers came – until 1970 – from the People’s Party (ÖVP). In the 1970 election, the Social Democrats prevailed, and Bruno Kreisky formed a minority government. In the new elections in 1971, the Socialist Party (SPÖ) gained a majority on its own, and this was maintained during the elections in 1975 and 1979. The years 1970–1975 were marked by strong economic progress. It has succeeded in maintaining calm in the working life through cooperation between the government and the organizations. The trade union movement helped by its attitude to prevent strikes.

At the 1983 election, the SPÖ stepped back, the ÖVP emerged, and the Freedom Party (FPÖ) was in the rocker position. Kreiski resigned and a coalition government was formed by SPÖ and FPÖ under former Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Education Fred Sinowatz. This coalition broke down in 1986 because of FPÖ’s right turn, and from 1987 Austria was ruled by a major coalition between SPÖ and ÖVP.

In the 1986 presidential election, the independent candidate, Kurt Waldheim, was supported by the ÖVP (53.9 percent of the votes in the second round). During the election campaign, it became known that Waldheim during his service in the Balkans during the war must at least have known about the war crimes committed by the Germans. This past war made Waldheim an undesirable person in the Western world during his presidency and isolated in large parts of the international community. In the election of the People’s Party (ÖVP) candidate Thomas Klestil as president in 1992, the country was once again able to normalize its relationship with the outside world.