The Hungarian government’s priority national and economic strategic goal is for Hungary to become the leading defense industrial center in Central Europe in both manufacturing, and R&D, the Ministry of Defense told MTI.
The statement emphasized the Minister of Technology and Industry László Palkovics, Minister of Culture and Innovation János Csák and Minister of Defense Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky were invited to visit Hungary’s most outstanding research and development infrastructure, Europe’s largest and one of the world’s most modern automotive test tracks, ZalaZone in Zalaegerszeg on Saturday morning.
László Palkovics was quoted as saying that
this is not only an automotive test track, but also one of the world’s best developing innovation ecosystems.
Initially the government’s objective was to support the Hungarian automotive industry with the test track, but it has also attracted other technical fields. Universities, researchers, two international companies are already building their own research institutes, and Rheinmetall’s new factory is being built here, Palkovics underlined.
He said earlier in the spring that the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle production plant was built in the county seat of Zala with a HUF 60 billion (EUR 150 million) investment by the Hungarian state and German Rheinmetall.
In connection with the development, the existing elements of the ZalaZone Automotive Test Track will be supplemented by a test track for off-road vehicles on an area of about 30 hectares. A climate chamber, a 250-meter-long test firing tunnel and test track elements for testing and verifying a total of 15 different capabilities of off-road vehicles have already been built.
During the visit, minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky pointed out that knowledge around equipment is a very important part of force development. In front of Rheinmetall’s future combat vehicle factory, he added that
the experience, knowledge and technology from ZalaZone are of particular importance for the development of the armed forces.
János Csák stressed that Zalaegerszeg, in the western part of Hungary, has created an innovation environment where universities, private companies, state developers and research institutes work together. He stressed that the innovations and research results can be used to create or develop Hungarian companies that can enter the international market or play a greater role as suppliers in the automotive and other industries.