Hungarian Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky stated on Monday in Budapest that it is necessary to enhance the combat readiness of the Hungarian armed forces and improve the competitiveness of the defence industry. He emphasized that this effort not only guarantees the country’s security but also serves economic growth.
Speaking at a conference on defence industry supplier development held at the Bálna Defence Centre, the minister pointed out that the misguided military policies of previous governments had led to the deterioration of the Hungarian Defence Forces. However, following the change in government in 2010, the Orbán administration recognized the need to strengthen the armed forces and rebuild an independent defence industry. This led to the launch of the Defence and Armed Forces Development Programme in 2016, a commitment that the government continues to uphold.
He highlighted that the security situation has changed over time, with continuous migration pressure being exerted on Hungary. Therefore, the decision to invest in the development of the armed forces and defence industry has become a strategic advantage and an opportunity for the country. The minister explained that in pursuit of advancing the defence industry,
strategic agreements have been concluded with several major international companies,
leading to the establishment of joint ventures, such as partnerships with Rheinmetall, Dynamit Nobel Defence, Airbus Helicopters, and Turkish Nurol Makina.
The defence minister emphasized that the goal is to
enable Hungarian-owned companies to participate to a significant extent in the development of the defence industry.
The government aims to have as many Hungarian companies as possible attain NATO supplier qualification, allowing them to contribute to increasing national resilience through their expertise, experience, and innovative ideas. To achieve these objectives, the government has launched the supplier development programme, Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky reminded. The programme will operate through a system of non-repayable grants, with a defence industry capital fund managed by Focus Venture.
The minister stated that the objective is to double the proportion of Hungarian suppliers within the defence industry.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/Ministry of Defence/MTI