Austrian air defense

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Austrian air defence is undertaken by the integration of civilian and military radar systems under the authority of the Austrian Air Force.

Austrian air force roundel

General[edit]

In the past the control of the Austrian airspace took place by means of a single radarstation located on the summit of Kolomannsberg. This station was completed by two-dimensional radardata from civil airports and some mobile Bendix AN/TPS-1 searchradars.

Today the Austrian airspace control and its air defence is based on the Goldhaube system. Goldhaube is named after a traditional Austrian women's cap. Goldhaube is a combined military airspace commanding, controlling and alerting system that uses modern radar equipment to protect Austria’s airspace against any kind of intruders. The most important Goldhaube units are located on the summit of Kolomannsberg, Koralpe and Buschberg.

All systems are connected together in the Austrian Einsatzzentrale/Basisraum (EZ/B). This is the commandcentre and government crisesbunker, located 300m inside a mountain near the village of Heukareck in the vicinity of St. Johann and Salzburg. The bunker, known by insiders as "der Berg" (the mountain), was built in 1977-1982 and houses overall military and civilian leadership in case of war or crisis.

Although this system is already more than 20 years operational it is still being under extensive development. These upgrades assure that Goldhaube stays fully operational in the next decades.

Location of the Speikkogel radarstation on Koralpe summit

Timeline[edit]

By building a new radar in the south of Austria, by integration of the civil airport authorities in the military chain of command, by building an air operations centre and a backup centre, by totally renewing the Kolomannsberg radar station and by incorporating a datalink and communications network, a state of the art airspace control and air defence system would be at the disposal of the Austrian authorities.

  • 1964-1970. Building and operational readiness of the fixed radarstation Kolomannsberg
  • 1970-1983 Planning and activation of the Goldhaube radarsystem including the buying of an Italian Selenia (nowadays Alenia) RAT-31S & MRCS-403 radar system, planning and building of an Einsatzzentrale/Basisraum (government crisisbunker), building of the fixed radarstations Speikkogel and Steinmandl and the airtraffic control center Schnirchgasse Wien (Vienna).

Start of Goldhaube project[edit]

In 1973 a combined civil/military project Flugverkehrskontrolle - Luftraumüberwachung (airtraffic and airspace control) had been inaugurated to integrate both services in a combined one. As a direct consequence in 1975 the Stab Luftraum Beobachtungs System (aircontrol staff) had been activated in the Austrian air force.

From a military point of view the need of the actual target altitude as well as an extended view exceeding the Austrian boundaries was absolutely necessary. After the evaluation authorities confirmed the green light for a three-dimensional radar system in which distance, heading and altitude were incorporated in a single radar picture.

The Austrian military staff decided to buy the Italian Selenia RAT-31S / MRCS-403 instead of the American Westinghouse AN/TPS-43E system.

Although the new Selenia system technology suffered development problems in the mid-1980s, resulting in a delay of operational activation, the decision to buy the system has been proven to be the right one. Twenty years after operational activation of the first RAT-31S, Austria’s air control system is comparable with the very best air control systems and still meets the highest of standards.

  • 1997-2000 Ordering and activation of new EF2000 Typhoon Eurofighter interceptors and ordering a new Long-Range Radar (RAT-31DL) system extension.
  • 2000-2007 Decommissioning of 24 Saab Draken fighter interceptors, ordering of extra Eurofighters, decommissioning of 12 F-5E Tiger II aircraft on loan from Switzerland,[1] ordering IRIS-T missiles for the Eurofighters and operational readiness of RAT-31DL on Kolomannsberg.

Goldhaube operational elements[edit]

  • Kommando Luftraumüberwachung (Kdo LRÜ). The airspace control command.
    • Betriebsstab (ready staff). Responsible for the technical status of the Einsatzzentrale/Basisraum (government crisisbunker), for the airspace control and for the alerting of air defence fighters.
    • Luftraumüberwachungszentrale (LRÜZ). (control reporting centre). Responsible for active and passive airspace control on a 24/7 basis by means of the operational air defence system and by means of producing an actual airpicture exceeding Austria’s boundaries.
    • Beobachtungs- and Identification service (controlling and identification service). Responsible for the delivery of an actual airpicture.
    • Radarleitdienst (radar control service). Responsible for guiding alerted fighter interceptors using radar, radio and datalink
    • Analyse- und Dokumentationsteam (analysis - documentationteam). Coördinates the activated sensor capacity and responsible for the data quality.
    • Dateneingabestelle (manual input service). Grants flightpermits to all foreign military airplanes and is responsible for correct flight information.
    • Military Control Center (MCC). This operational unit is the real interface between both civil and military flightsecurity authorities.
    • Wetterdienstzentrale (WEDZ). The military weatherforcasting organisation.
    • EDV-LRÜ. Responsible for IT-handling and operational servicing of all stationary IT facilities and system upgrades.
    • Technische Betriebszentrale (TEBZ) Technical manintenance. Responsible for all technical installations in the EZ/B (government bunker).
    • Rettungs- und Brandschutzdienst (RuBSD) Internal fire and rescue brigade. Responsible for all active and passive firecontrol in the EZ/B bunker.
    • Radarstationskommando (RadStat) Radar command. Responsible for the overall operational capacity of the complete radarnet
      • Fixed radarstation Kolomannsberg (ORS K)
      • Fixed radarstation Steinmandl (ORS STM)
      • Fixed radarstation Speikkogel (ORS SPK)
    • Radarbataillon (RadB). Radar Btn. Responsible for all personnel and materiel operational readiness of all mobile aircontrol components and radar control services
      • Mobile radarstation 1 (MRS 1)
      • Mobile radarstation 2 (MRS 2)
      • 6 x lowlevel detection radar
      • Operational shelter (deployable CRC)
      • Mobile direct relay stations
      • Mobile landcommunication facilities
      • Mobile aircommunication facilities
Alenia MRS1 station
Thales lowlevel detection radar
    • Technisch Logistisches Zentrum (TLZ) The technical logistics centre is direct responsible for the overall communication between all stations connected to the Goldhaube system.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Swiss F-5 to Austrian Air Force, airpic.ch.

External links[edit]