Hungary's defense spending will rise in 2021 to 1.66 percent of GDP, nearing the 2 percent spending requirement by NATO from member states.
Tibor Benkő, Minister of Defense, said the central budget approved by parliament on Friday has allocated HUF 778 billion (EUR 2.2bn) for defense purposes next year, up HUF 162 billion from 2020.
Minister Benkő added that 25-30 percent of the funds will be spent on upgrades. Army purchases will continue and Hungary will soon take delivery of Leopard battle tanks. The first batch of 12 Leopard 2 A4HU tanks is scheduled to arrive this summer at the army base at Tata from the German manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW).
Brigadier-General Gábor Lőrincz, the commander of the tank unit at Tata, told Magyar Nemzet that the Leopard A4HU-s have been leased for training until a new batch of the highly advanced A7 types arrive in 2023.
Tank drivers will start training in September in Austria before undergoing further training in Germany and Hungary later on. The Leopards are part of the Hungarian military’s 2026 Zrínyi comprehensive defense development program. “With the Leopard 2 A7+HU model we will attain world-class status,” Lőrincz said.
Photo credit: Infostart