Defense Minister: Army needs cooperation with defense industry and IT sector

The defense minister said Hungary is already among NATO countries spending 2% of GDP on defense.

Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said cooperation between the military, the national defense industry and the IT sector will result in the modern army meeting requirements of the 21st century.

Speaking on the first day of the Info Space Conference held in Balatonfüred, in western Hungary, the minister said that while the defense industry had a leading role in innovation, its discoveries spreading to the civilian world, the opposite also happened with “startups breaking into the world of the military” thanks to opportunities offered by digitalization. At the conference organised by the Informatics for Society Association, the minister said the task of rebuilding a strong and effective military had started from scratch after the Fidesz government assumed power in 2010, with developments based on the European defense industry making the Hungarian army NATO-compatible.

Hungary, he noted, is already among NATO countries spending 2% of GDP on defense. But given the war in Hungary’s neighbourhood and the pressure of illegal migration, more than 2% must be spent on defense-related tasks, he added. On the subject of equipment procurement, he noted that the production capacity of the country’s defense industry was being expanded, and military development also included a unified system of digital integration. The minister said innovation tasks included creating new integrated drone and communication technologies, adding that space technologies for earth surveillance were also important aspects of development. Hungary’s Defense Innovation Research Institute is being set up as a support arm of the defense ministry, and will focus on the innovation ecosystem from the military point of view, Szalay-Bobrovniczky announced.