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Hungary Set to Increase Military Expenditures, Defence Minister Confirms

Tamás Székely 2015.06.05.

The main defence tasks of the past year and a half include Hungary’s responses to the Ukraine crisis and NATO undertakings, Defence Minister Csaba Hende said in briefings to two parliamentary committees. Next year’s budget bill allocates defence spending of 298.6 billion forints (EUR 960m), a 22% increase on this year’s allocation. Hungary is making preparations for its military involvement in the international fight against Islamic State in Kurdistan, with ongoing consultations concerning the transfer of Hungarian soldiers to the site.

CsabaHende noted the 50 billion forint development at the Pápa airbase, 30 billion of which is financed by NATO, adding that a hangar for NATO heavy-transport planes and a new complex was in the process of being built, as well as a supplementary control tower. Among procurements, Hende mentioned “bomb armaments” for ensuring implementation of airground operational tasks, as well as maintaining and developing an air defence missile system.

He also said that as part of military equipment and defence and development cooperation programmes run alongside the United States, the US had provided 5 million dollars’ worth of equipment, a large portion of which has already been delivered. In response to a question concerning the accident involving a Hungarian Gripen aircraft, Hende said negotiations were ongoing concerning possibilities for replacing the fighter.

This week a military exercise, the largest in Hungary this year, has begun in the Bakony region with 1,700 local and foreign troops and 600 pieces of equipment involved, Hungary’s Defence Ministry said. The exercise code-named Capable Logistician 2015 (CL15), the largest of its kind in logistics capabilities of NATO members and partner countries, is taking place from June 1 until June 26 in the Bakony Combat Training Centre in western Hungary, it said. CL15 aims to standardise the logistics support and procedures of the international forces in line with NATO guidelines, as well as strengthen cooperation among partner states.

via hungarymatters.hu photo: Lajos Soós – MTI