The Austrian federal government is planning to purchase long-range air defense missiles. This fundamental decision was approved in the Council of Ministers on Wednesday; Details of the project are still open. The purchase is to be made as part of the European air defense system “Sky Shield”. The American air defense system “Patriot” and the US-Israeli system “Arrow 3” are considered possible variants. The procurement is scheduled to take place from 2027.
With this move, Austria will gain comprehensive defense capabilities that previous governments had forgotten, Defense Minister Claudia Tanner (ÖVP) stressed in the press lobby after the Council of Ministers. Accordingly, Chancellor Karl Nehammer called the planned purchase a “milestone for Austrian defence”: “We have not been able to accomplish this form of defense until now.”
Vice Chancellor Werner Kögler (Greens) stressed that his party stands with him. Strengthening security is one of the central tasks of this federal government, he said, pointing to the changed security architecture since Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. He considers “Sky Shield” to be compatible with neutrality. The Chancellor also sees it this way. Because “Sky Shield” always leaves the responsibility to member states.