About Me

My photo
MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

26 June 2016

Austria Army Could Deploy Special Forces Unit to Mali

The Austrian Army is believed to have deployed a reconnaissance team to northern Mali to assess the feasibility of deploying perhaps 20 members of its Jagdkommando Special Forces unit to the region to support international counter-insurgency efforts there.

If deployed, it is considered likely the troops will be equipped with several examples of the HUNTER 4x4 Open Tactical Vehicle (OTV), an airportable special purpose counter-insurgency vehicle developed on a Mitsubishi chassis by Austrian specialist Valentin Tusch.

The OTV, equipped with satellite communications, a GPS system, flotation devices and modular force protection, can carry a 12.7mm machine gun and up to seven troops; two vehicles can be transported medium transport aircraft or helicopters such as the CH-47 CHINOOK.

France’s Operation "Barkhane" is focused on preventing Islamic militants from regrouping in northern Mali following their defeat in 2013. French forces in the region consist of at least 3,000 troops, 20 helicopters and 200 tanks, with supporting units including logistics and transport aircraft in addition to fighter aircraft and drones. Germany has approved the redeployment of 350 of its troops attached to the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in the capital Bamako to northern Mali to assist the multinational force. Austria’s potential contribution would serve the same purpose.