Austria, Switzerland join European Sky Field air defense project — media reports

VIENNA: Austrian Foreign Minister Klaudia Tanner and her Swiss counterpart, Viola Amherd, have signed a declaration in Bern on the two count...


VIENNA: Austrian Foreign Minister Klaudia Tanner and her Swiss counterpart, Viola Amherd, have signed a declaration in Bern on the two countries’ intent to join the continent-wide European Sky Field air defense project, Austria’s ORF broadcaster reported on Friday.

According to the media outlet, both countries believe that they will not be violating their neutral status by participating in the European Sky Shield initiative.

Tanner said earlier that Austria would be protected against short-and medium-range missiles starting in 2024 and its airspace will be fully covered in 2025. Meanwhile, Herbert Kickl, chairman of the opposition Freedom Party of Austria, called on the country’s authorities to hold a nationwide referendum on Vienna’s participation in the pan-European air defense project.

In 2022, Germany put forward the European Sky Shield initiative to create a single European anti-missile and air defense system and ensure joint procurement of short-, medium-and long-range anti-missile and air defense weapons. Each of the countries joining the initiative is free to decide what weapons to purchase. The move was expected to boost investment in local manufacturers of defense systems. However, contrary to the expectations of French manufacturers, Germany announced plans to prioritize domestically made Iris-T medium-range missiles, US-made Patriot long-range missiles and Israeli-made Arrow-3 ultra-long-range missiles. As many as 17 European countries have supported the Germany-led European Sky Shield initiative; however, France, Italy and Poland have declined to join it.


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Local Glob: Austria, Switzerland join European Sky Field air defense project — media reports
Austria, Switzerland join European Sky Field air defense project — media reports
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