In response to conventional and new types of security and defence challenges in the region, Hungary has launched a comprehensive defence and armed forces development programme, Defence Minister Tibor Benkő said at his annual hearing in parliament on Tuesday.
The Command of the Hungarian Armed Forces was established in 2019 to oversee the coordination of tasks in the programme, Benkő told the defence and law enforcement committee. In addition, a Cyber Operations Centre, a cyber observation post and a cyber academy were also established, he said.
In terms of staff, Benkő said the number of professional, contract and reserve soldiers has increased. The number of volunteer reserves has gone up to around 10,300 from 9,100 at the end of last year.
The minister further noted the arrival of 16 of 20 Airbus H145M military helicopters ordered by Hungary by the end of the year, as part of the army development programme. Additionally, 8 Russian-made helicopters have been upgraded, Benkő said. A fleet of Airbus A319 aircraft are available also for intensive medical care service, he said.
In addition, some 1,100 troops have also been assigned to help at 93 hospitals in operations related to coronavirus protection, the defence minister told the committee.
Featured photo illustration by Zoltán Máthé/MTI