Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky - Photo: Facebook

Defence Minister: Armed forces undergoing radical change

Hungary's armed forces are undergoing radical change as all its capabilities are in the process of being reformed and updated, Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky, the defence minister, said on Monday in Szolnok at the ceremonial handover of new H225M helicopters.

By the time the reforms have been fully implemented, the health, safety and property of Hungarians will be truly protected, the minister said, adding that never before had there been such a high level of social and political support for the armed services.

The general staff has drawn up a plan for how the forces will appear in 2031 in terms of organisation, staffing and readiness, with a professional army equipped with high-tech weapons envisaged on the one hand, and a territorial defence force covering the whole country, mainly comprising reservists, on the other.

The delivery of the first two Airbus H225M helicopters out of 10 in total was an “important milestone” in fulfilling the plan, he said, noting today’s inauguration was of helicopters in troop transport configuration. Training will be undertaken right away with today’s arrivals, he added.

In addition, the special forces will receive six H225M helicopters equipped with unique HForce weapons specially developed for Hungary. The package includes a 20mm machine gun, a 70mm rocket launcher, and guided anti-tank missiles will be available at a later date, the minister noted.

Meanwhile, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said a brutal 20th century war was taking place in Hungary’s neighborhood to which the only solution was an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations.

He said Europe’s security situation would change radically different given the presence of battle-hardened forces to Hungary’s east and the constant pressure of illegal migration on its southern border.

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