The strengthening of the defense industry will make Hungary stronger, Brigadier General Imre Porkoláb, Ministerial Commissioner for Defense Innovation, told Kossuth Radio, reports Honvédelem.hu. He made the remarks on the occasion of the recent inauguration of the Rheinmetall plant in Zalaegerszeg (western Hungary), which will primarily develop and manufacture Lynx armored combat vehicles.
Imre Porkoláb recalled that in 2016, the government recognized that the security situation would radically change in the near future and created a strategy where procurement, the defense industry, and force development would be managed together. He stressed that
the fact that the military equipment needed by the army will be produced in Hungary not only has an economic stimulating effect – the Zalaegerszeg plant will employ 350 people – but is also important for security of supply.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (in the middle) at the inauguration of Rheinmetall’s Zalaegerszeg plant. Photo: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Benko Vivien Cher
He also said that the Zalaegerszeg plant will produce 172 Lynx, and that not only the production plant has been built, but also a test center with a firing tunnel and a climate chamber for the further development of vehicles. According to him, one of the most modern factories of this kind in Europe had been built in Zalaegerszeg, a completely greenfield investment, where the most modern machinery, production lines, and technology could be brought in.
Furthermore, there is quite serious and increased market interest in the combat vehicles, with a chance for Hungarian-built Lynx to be sold to other countries in the future.
Lynx KF41. Photo: honvedelem.hu
Porkoláb recalled that at the plant’s inauguration last Friday, a cooperation agreement was signed, under which Rheinmetall Italia SpA, the Israeli company UVision Air Ltd., and the Hungarian State will set up a joint venture for the production and procurement of remote-controlled precision munitions. He pointed out that from the experience of the war in Ukraine, it is clear that precision strike capability is one of the things that absolutely needs to be improved, and the Ministry of Defense has responded very quickly with this procurement.
Porkoláb was also a guest on public television channel M1, where he highlighted that the Lynx armored fighting vehicles will be used primarily by mechanized infantry units and will be introduced in Hódmezővásárhely, eastern Hungary. He added that the Lynx is the combat vehicle of the future, an “armored computer” where the soldier is supported by a host of digital devices. The vehicles will make combat much easier for soldiers, with a recruitment campaign being conducted to find soldiers to operate these vehicles.