Austrian army under fire for buying Romanian combat boots

The Austrian Defense Ministry says no local firm could produce the boots at the same price

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Ziare

Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner recently came under fire for ordering the Austrian army’s new boots from Romania,

Tanner presented the Austrian soldiers with their new combat boots on Wednesday, a total of 35,000 pairs ordered for the years 2023-2025. The new model will “increase the performance and operational readiness of the Army,” Tanner announced.

The boots should cope optimally with all challenges in both summer and winter, and they have a completely new look, a far cry from the old black ones. The beige color was chosen to match the uniform, according to the Austrian publication Express. The first pairs have already arrived and were worn by some Austrian servicemen and women on the country’s national day.

However, a local TV station, owned by a large and well-known Austrian energy drink manufacturer, has exposed the fact that the Austrian minister of defense had purchased the boots from Romania. Although the boots were designed in Austria, they are made in Romania by the Austrian company Rukapol to save on costs.

The estimated price for a pair is €140, with the total cost of the order standing at €4.83 million. The decision to manufacture the boots in Romania has sparked criticism on social media, with many commentators wondering why production did not take place in Austria.

Michael Bauer, spokesman for the Austrian army, noted on X that there was an EU-wide tender for the contract and challenged critics to name a company in Austria that could have produced the boots at a comparable price and quantity.

Public broadcaster ORF confirmed that the boots will be made in Oradea, western Romania, in the factory owned by the Austrian firm that designed the boots.

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