Hungary aims to boost the armed forces to ensure that 30,000 soldiers are on active-duty by 2026, Defence Minister István Simicskó said at a command transfer ceremony at Hungarian Joint Force Command.
Simicskó said the plan also involves a reserve force of 20,000 by 2026, and setting up voluntary regional defence units. Currently the number of reserve soldiers comes to around 6,000, he said, adding that this was a major improvement on the handful of reserves in 2010.
Budget resources will be available for the large increase in staff, and the defence budget will reach 2% of GDP, or 1,000 billion forints (EUR 3.2bn), by 2024. The defence and armed forces development scheme, dubbed Zrínyi 2026, together with the increased budget, will enable the acquisition of state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that the army maintains 21st century capabilities.
In the ceremony, Ferenc Korom took over command from János Huszár. Korom said that his priorities in his new post will be to represent national interests, meet the requirements of membership in allied systems (such as NATO) and to promote teamwork.
In an interview in June, István Simicskó said that the government hopes to grow the prestige of the Hungarian defense forces and to ensure that the army can see to its most basic role, that of defending the country, as effectively as possible.
via hungarytoday.hu image via HM