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Defence Minister: Army Development Progresses as Scheduled

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.10.28.

The development of the Hungarian Armed Forces progresses in line with schedule, the defence minister told parliament’s national security committee on Tuesday.

In a regular annual hearing, Tibor Benkő said that the Hungarian army should become a significant power for the region to guarantee peace, security and stability in central Europe. This requires technical developments carried out in line with a detailed defence and army development programme, he added.

The programme dubbed Zrínyi 2026 was launched in 2017 and repeatedly updated since then to address new challenges, he said, adding that planning is already under way with an outlook for 2030-2032.

Benko said that 67 secondary schools had joined a defence training scheme and 8-10 secondary schools are planned to be set up for military training in the next ten years.

The minister presented in detail the completed and planned elements of the army development programme. He cited as an example the arrival of the first Airbus H145M military helicopters in 2019 and noted that out of 20 such helicopters ordered by the army, 16 will have arrived by the end of this year. He also said that Airbus A319 transport aircraft have been set up in a way to make them suitable also for rescue operations.

First Two Airbus Helicopters Arrive in Hungary
First Two Airbus Helicopters Arrive in Hungary

The first two of 20 helicopters purchased for the Hungarian army have arrived at Szolnok airbase, the base’s commander said on Tuesday. The Airbus H145M light multirole helicopters purchased in the framework of the comprehensive Zrínyi 2026 army modernisation programme arrived on Monday and were presented to the press at the Budaörs airfield near Budapest, […]Continue reading

Commenting on arms manufacturing capacities in Hungary, he said that more than 14,000 small arms assembled in Kiskunfélegyháza in southern Hungary were delivered to soldiers last year.

The minister said that he had signed a letter of intent and Ferenc Korom, the commander of the Hungarian Army, a contract on missile purchases. The contract envisages the purchase of 120 missiles in the first phase, and possibly another 60 later.

Benkő said that the security environment had deteriorated, with great challenges posed by certain unstable countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. This is also assumed to be the cause of illegal migration and numerous examples have demonstrated that these developments pose a threat to western civilisation, he added.

Hungary has been effectively handling illegal migration since 2015, Benkő said. The Hungarian army has been involved in guarding the borders in line with demands expressed by the ministry of the interior since the introduction of laws on border protection, he added. This remained a priority task last year, with 11,000 soldiers participating in border protection and control, he said.

Hungary Takes Delivery of Leopard Battle Tanks
Hungary Takes Delivery of Leopard Battle Tanks

Defence Minister Tibor Benkő took delivery of the first four Leopard 2A4HU battle tanks at the army base in Tata, in northern Hungary, on Friday. The delivery of the tanks is the first step in the upgrade of the Hungarian military’s armoured fighting vehicles, the minister said. The new vehicles delivered by Frank Haun, the […]Continue reading

Benkő said that in line with NATO and Hungarian projections, security and defence threats have been established from the east and south. Deterrence is important in handling threats from the east, in protection against Russia, but dialogue must also continue, he said.

Threats from the south also pose complex challenges to NATO members, including Hungary, he added.

Central Europe and Hungary are at the crossroads of threats from the east and south, he said. This has been the reason for a decision to set up a multinational central European command based in Székesfehérvár, he added.

International Military Exercise 'Brave Warrior 2020' under way in Bakony Hills
International Military Exercise 'Brave Warrior 2020' under way in Bakony Hills

The international military exercise dubbed Brave Warrior 2020 under way in the Bakony hills in western Hungary is focused on international military cooperation, the deputy commander of the HDF 25th Klapka György Infantry Regiment said on Thursday. The exercise involves 1,500 soldiers comprising Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak and US units, along with 500 military vehicles, Colonel […]Continue reading

The establishment of a Special Operations Component Command (SOCC) in Szolnok to maintain security and stability for the region was one of the most successful multinational cooperation projects last year, he said.

Featured photo illustration by Sándor Ujvári/MTI