February 15, 2018 / 9:36 AM / 10 months ago

Austrian defense minister says will re-assess decision on Eurofighter program

FILE PHOTO: Austria's Defence Minister Mario Kunasek addresses the media before a two-day cabinet meeting in Seggau, Austria, January 5, 2018. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria’s new government will re-assess the previous administration’s decision to end the country’s Eurofighter jet program early, Defense 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 defense.

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 program early. [nL8N1JY1EM]

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

The defense 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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