As part of the German-Hungarian land forces cooperation, Brigadier General Björn F. Schulz, commander of the Bundeswehr Armoured School, arrived in Hungary to visit the 1st Armoured Brigade of the MH Klapka György in Tata on May 24, wrote army portal honvedelem.hu.
Colonel István Kása (L) salutes Brigadier General Björn F. Schulz. Photo: honvedelem.hu
Since the cooperation in 2019, every year the current commander of the German Bundeswehr Armoured School visits the brigade in Tata. This year, Brigadier General Björn F. Schulz and the German delegation were received by Colonel István Kása, Chief of Staff of the MH Klapka György 1st Armoured Brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel Sándor Horváth, Commander of the 11th Tank Battalion.
Within months, modern Leopard A7+ MBT could be parked in this hangar. Photo: honvedelem.hu
The visit started with a short meeting, during which the German side was informed about the Hungarian defense force development program, as well as about the infrastructural developments within the brigade. Afterwards, they had the opportunity to visit the repair hangar of the Leopard 2A4 HU combat vehicle inside the barracks, and to take a look at the various hangars of the battalion, where they were also able to board a T-72 tank. Finally, they were shown the BT-46 simulation tools, which allow soldiers to practise using the Leopard 2A4 HU combat vehicle.
Soon to be mothballed T-72 MBT. Photo: honvedelem.hu
During the second half of the day, soldiers from the German Armored School toured the combat vehicles participating in the Brave Warrior 2023 multi-national exercise in the Bakony mountains. The German soldiers were welcomed by Colonel István Tóth Tóth, the brigade commander, at the base in Újmajor (Camp Croft). In the surroundings of the deployed combat vehicles, Chief Petty Officer Torsten Doberas was awarded a Defence Minister’s commendation for his long-time assistance in training the Hungarian crew of the Leopard 2A4 HU combat vehicle.
Lieutenant Colonel Sándor Horváth said that the cooperation between the two parties is very good. At the German Bundeswehr Armoured School, there are currently several Hungarian non-commissioned officers and officers – gunners, artillerymen and tank drivers – who are studying for a specialization. “They will have priority, more important tasks in the future battalion equipped with new equipment,” the lieutenant colonel stressed.
Leopard A4 tanks currently used for training. Photo: honvedelem.hu
The Hungarian land forces are currently transitioning from their woefully antiquated Soviet-era T-72 main battle tanks and BTR-type infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) to the latest, mostly German made technology. The the old Cold-war-era tanks seen above are being replaces by Leopeard 7+ tanks manufactured by KMW. As the current technology is entirely inadequate for the requirements of a modern battlefield, it is just as well that the first German tanks are expected to arrive by the end of this year.
The first batch of the Rheinmetall-manufactured Lynx KF41 IFVs are already in the Hungarian defense forces’ inventory in Tata. Out of the total of 2018 Lynx’s some 46 are expected to be delivered by in 2023. The Hungarian government’s orders from the German defense technology manufacturers Rheinmetall and KMW have already resulted in the arrival of new PzH 2000 tracked self-propelled howitzers and Leopard 2A4 tanks in Hungary. If reports are to be believed, negotiations are under way regarding the wheeled HX3 155mm howitzers with Rheinmetall.