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Austria Military - 2024


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Military and security forces

Austrian Armed Forces (Bundesheer): Land Forces, Air Forces, Cyber Forces, Special Forces, Militia (reserves) (2024)

note: the federal police maintain internal security and report to the Ministry of the Interior

Military expenditures

1% of GDP (2024 est.)
0.9% of GDP (2023 est.)
0.7% of GDP (2022)
0.8% of GDP (2021)
0.7% of GDP (2020)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 20-25,000 active-duty personnel (includes conscripts and active militia) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory includes a mix of domestically produced and imported weapons systems from European countries and the US; the Austrian defense industry produces a range of equipment and partners with other countries (2024)

Military service age and obligation

registration requirement at age 17, the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; men above the age of 18 are subject to compulsory military service; women may volunteer; compulsory service is for 6 months, or optionally, alternative civil/community service (Zivildienst) for 9 months (2024)

note 1: as of 2023, women made up about 4% of the military's full-time personnel

note 2: in a January 2013 referendum, a majority of Austrians voted in favor of retaining the system of compulsory military service (with the option of alternative/non-military service) instead of switching to a professional army system

Military deployments

170 Bosnia-Herzegovina (EUFOR stabilization force); 250 Kosovo (NATO/KFOR); 200 Lebanon (UNIFIL) (2023)

Military - note

the military’s primary responsibilities are national defense and protecting Austria’s neutrality; it also has some domestic security and disaster response responsibilities and contributes to international peacekeeping and humanitarian missions; Austria has been constitutionally militarily non-aligned since 1955 but is an EU member and actively participates in EU peacekeeping and crisis management operations under the EU Common Security and Defense Policy; Austria is not a member of NATO but joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace framework in 1995 and participates in some NATO-led crisis management and peacekeeping operations; it has provided troops to international peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EU), Kosovo (NATO), and Lebanon (UN) in recent years; more than 100,000 Austrian military and civilian personnel have taken part in more than 50 international peace support and humanitarian missions since 1960

the Land Forces comprise the bulk of the military, and they are organizationally divided between territorial and operational forces; each of the nine federal states has a military command that provides a link between the military and civil authorities; the main tasks of these commands include providing military assistance during disasters and supporting security police operations; these military commands have an infantry battalion, a militia battalion (Vienna has two), and typically a militia engineer/pioneer company at their disposal; the operational Land Forces are four combat brigades: a rapid reaction/”fast forces” (schnelle kräftewith) brigade with mechanized and motorized forces, an armored/mechanized infantry (panzer grenadier) brigade, a mountain infantry brigade (gebirgsbrigade), and a light infantry brigade (jägerbrigade) that includes airborne and air assault troops; the military also has separate special operations and cyber defense forces; the Air Forces have a small number of European-made multipurpose fighter aircraft

the militia is comprised of men and women who have done their basic military or training service and continue to perform a task in the armed forces; they are integrated into the military but have civilian jobs and only participate in exercises or operations; missions for the militia may include providing disaster relief, assisting security police, and protecting critical infrastructure (energy, water, etc.), as well as deployments on missions abroad (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Austria on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Austria 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Austria 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.