AUSTRIAN AIR FORCE DOMESTIC DUTIES

One may not generally hear much about it, but Austria’s Air Force has many duties, especially at major events. To ensure the safety of participants and visitors, airspace over the venues is closed for the duration of the events (G7 summit, Bilderberg meeting, World Economic Summit in Davos). A variety of aircraft and helicopter types are available to the Air Force to perform this and many other duties. Stationary and mobile radar, and anti-aircraft systems are also available.

Securing sovereignty

In order to maintain air supremacy over Austria and to guarantee the sovereignty of our country, it is necessary to locate, identify and, if necessary, turn back or force the landing of unauthorised intruding aircraft. Airspace is monitored from the ground by a network of stationary and mobile radar stations called the Goldhaube radar system. This system can accurately locate flying objects, determine their altitude, direction, and speed, from far beyond the Austrian border. Active air surveillance is subsequently assumed by the Eurofighter and the Saab 105 OE wing. If necessary, airspace monitoring is completed by the anti-aircraft troops’ ground-based systems. They protect strategically important spaces, objects, and infrastructure against attacks from the air by using anti-aircraft guns and guided weapons.

Rescue and assistance deployments

Crisis management through protection and assistance is part of everyday life for the armed forces, in addition to basic military duties. Federal Armed Forces pilots provide support in disaster situations or accidents where ground-based rescue organisations are overwhelmed. They are deployed repeatedly for assistance and disaster relief in flood zones, avalanche accidents, or otherwise inaccessible forest fires. Our pilots are currently using helicopters with infrared systems to monitor our national border, in order to detect border crossings by unauthorised individuals and to subsequently stop them by deploying ground units.