VIENNA --- With the procurement of new protected multipurpose vehicles and the substantial modernization of the aviation radio system, the Austrian Federal Army will increase the protection of its soldiers both at home and abroad as well as the security of domestic air traffic.
“The security and the protection of our soldiers are very important to me. Therefore, we must invest in the Federal Army,” Defence Minister Norbert Darabos said.
Protected multipurpose vehicles
The “Light Multirole Vehicle” multipurpose vehicles of IVECO Defence Vehicles will find particular use for transportation, patrol, scout and clearing-up missions. The soldiers of the Federal Army will be guaranteed optimum protection at the same time as high mobility. Because these vehicles are not tanks, the logistic expenditure is substantially smaller. The new vehicles are well-suited for the transport of four people and their personal equipment. They will be fitted with an electrically-operated weapon station.
Secured and new jobs
The first protected multipurpose vehicles are expected this year, with distribution to the troops to follow in 2010. Defence Minister Darabos said: “These are substantial investments in the troops and thus into the security of Austria. Both investments also benefit Austria’s economy. We will obtain a high added-value in Austria.”
Out of the total procurement envelope of approx. 104 million euros, about 51 per cent will be returned to Austrian companies. This will create new jobs and secure 200 to 250 additional domestic jobs.
New aeronautical radio system
Beside the new vehicles, the Viennese company Frequentis received the order to modernize the aeronautical radio system for communication within the aeronautical range. The reasons are:
-- In addition to standard troop radios, the army also needs to renew its air-to-ground radios, which first entered service in 1971;
-- the military aeronautical radio serves the military air traffic control and the air traffic control for the protection of voice information exchange (surface-to-air and surface-to-surface) for all military tasks;
-- the system is important also for disaster control operations (as for instance for Army helicopters), and is thus an investment in the security of the population;
-- with the new system, the army will have a modern, interlinked and highly-available communication system.
The modernization of the system will extend into 2011 due to the modernization of various exchanges and establishments. The company Frequentis is as Austrian company with a world-wide reputation and 650 employees in Vienna. (ends)
Army Invests in the Security of Population and Soldiers