- 15 Dec 2023 6:51 AM
- Hungary Matters
Addressing the event, Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said the armoured vehicles were the world’s most advanced military vehicles, “more advanced than those of the German army’s”.
Hungary has ordered 44 “top-notch-technology” Leopard tanks to be delivered by 2028, he said, adding that altogether 3 Leguan tanks and 5 Wisents had been ordered along with other special military vehicles, simulators and spare-parts.
“The Leopards form the basic fleet of the military forces of 20 countries and the type developed for Hungary will serve as a basic model for developing the new, A8 configuration,” the minister said.
New Battle Tanks Procured by Hungary to Arrive Soon
Hungary has taken delivery of the first of 44 Leopard 2A7 battle tanks it has procured, the defence ministry said in a statement.
The first five Leopard 2A7s are expected to be delivered to Hungary in the coming days, the statement quoted Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky as saying.
He called the delivery of the new tanks a milestone in Hungary’s military upgrade programme that would “propel the Hungarian Armed Forces into the 21st century”.
The Leopard fleet will be completed by 2025 and will also include Leguan bridge-laying tanks and armoured recovery vehicles, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.
The replacement of Hungary’s Soviet-made vehicles with more modern ones is aided by cooperation with Germany’s KNDS Group, the minister said, noting that Hungary and the company’s leadership on additional services, simulations and maintenance.
This cooperation, he said, guaranteed that the Hungarian Armed Forces were not just getting new equipment “but an excellent quality fleet” which the German manufacturer will be supporting with important services. The new Leopard tanks will be officially inaugurated on Dec 14 in Tata, in northern Hungary.
Socialists: Strong Network of Allies, Armed Forces Development 'National Issue'
The development of Hungary’s Armed Forces is an “issue of national importance”, Socialist lawmaker Tamás Harangozó said on Wednesday, as he called for “a safe, peaceful country and a strong network of allies”.
Harangozó, the deputy head of parliament’s defence and law enforcement committee, told a press conference that the wars worldwide had shown the importance of strong allies who would be able to protect Hungary’s security.
The Socialists would enshrine into law the “institutional protection” of servicemen, and would guarantee “tax-exempt pension-like provisions” for them, linked to their time of service, he said.
The party would also continue procuring defence equipment, “but only NATO-compatible devices deemed acceptable by professionals, procured with the utmost transparency and accountability, while striving for political consensus”, Harangozó said.
Taking an active role in international crisis management could make the Armed Forces an important tool in representing national interests, he said. The military should also continue to develop its capability to protect civilians in case of disasters, he said.
Harangozó slammed the government’s defence development scheme as riddled by “institutional corruption, waste of money, failed organisatorial measures and contra-selection”.
The development programme started in 2018 “has created a mostly dysfunctional mini mass army barely compatible with our network of allies”, he said.
“Hungary fulfilled only the bare minimum of its NATO commitments and is becoming a spoke in the wheel of EU integration, while its strong ties with Russia have remained despite the aggression against Ukraine,” he said.
MTI Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák