February 15, 2018 / 9:35 AM / 3 months ago

Austrian defence minister says will re-assess decision on Eurofighter programme

VIENNA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Austria’s new government will re-assess the previous administration’s decision to end the country’s Eurofighter jet programme early, Defence Minister Mario Kunasek said on Thursday.

Kunasek, a member of the far-right Freedom Party, presented a new commission that will examine options for Austria’s air defence.

Kunasek said the new commission will take into account the findings of a task force set up by his Social Democratic predecessor Hans Peter Doskozil, but that he does not feel bound by Doskozil’s decision to end the Eurofighter programme early.

“Today, new information are available which require a reassessment,” Kunasek said at a news conference in Vienna.

The defence ministry said the Eurofighter consortium had offered to update the current jets and renegotiate operating costs since the former minister’s task force has ended its work.

It said it also received new price information for Swedish and American jets, which will be taken into account. (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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