Saaremaa shipyard building 'navy' for Austria (1)
Baltic Workboats AS (BWB), based in the Estonian island of Saaremaa, is assembling 19 assault boats for the Austrian Armed Forces.
Although Austria, a landlocked country, today has no navy, its military and police use patrol boats on the river Danube.
Costing 150,000 euros a piece, BWB has already manufactured three boats and is expected to deliver all 19 by the end of the year.
BWB is a growing shipyard that manages entire production process from design to launch, employing 150 people.
The company was founded 15 years ago and has built more than 130 different sized boats and vessels so far, including for the coast guards, police, fishery inspections and research institutes.
Austria once had a navy, during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Kriegsmarine (Imperial and Royal War Navy) existed until the end of World War I in 1918, when Austria and Hungary were deprived of their coasts and their navy was confiscated, due to losing the war. Their former ports on the Adriatic Sea belong to modern day Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro. At its peak, almost 34,000 naval personnel served in the Kriegsmarine.