Hungary’s defense forces plan to buy 40 new helicopters in the coming years, it has been revealed.
Tibor Benkő, chief of staff of the Hungarian Defense Forces, said the army will define the parameters and capabilities of the new helicopters; the type, the brand, and the cost of them and will be debated and decided by the government.
He added that Hungary is not obliged to buy military equipment exclusively from NATO member states. He said that for every NATO country the existence of the desired capabilities is the primary consideration when acquiring new equipment.
Benkő also revealed that there are twelve Russian made Mi-24 helicopters currently undergoing comprehensive modernization in Russia, and will be in service until 2025.
According to MTI, the Hungarian defense forces have already purchased two transport planes, which will be in service this spring. The aircraft can carry military personnel and their individual equipment, as well as smaller supplies. They will also be equipped with capabilities to carry out air rescue missions.
Benkő said Hungary needs larger aircraft as well, which are capable of carrying large military supplies and equipment and fitted with aerial refueling capability.
Hungary is expanding its armed forces. An increased budget will be available for a larger staff force, and the defense budget will reach 2 percent of GDP, or 1 trillion HUF, by 2024.
The defense and armed forces development scheme, dubbed Zrínyi 2026, and the increased budget will enable the acquisition of state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that the army maintains 21st century capabilities.