Hungarian troops near the Ukrainian border - Photo: MTI

Defence minister: Modern army requires cooperation with defence industry, IT sector

Cooperation between the military, the national defence industry and the IT sector will result in modern army meeting requirements of the 21st century, the defence minister told a conference on Tuesday.

Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky, speaking on the first day of the Info Space Conference held in Balatonfured, in western Hungary, said that while the defence industry had a leading role in innovation, its discoveries spreading to the civilian world, the opposite also happened with “startups breaking into the world of the military” thanks to opportunities offered by digitalisation.

At the conference organised by the Informatics for Society Association, the minister said the task of rebuilding a strong and effective military had started from scratch after the Fidesz government assumed power in 2010, with developments based on the European defense industry making the Hungarian army NATO-compatible.

Hungary, he noted, is already among NATO countries spending 2 percent of GDP on defence. But given the war in Hungary’s neighborhood and the pressure of illegal migration, more than 2 percent must be spent on defence-related tasks, he added.

On the subject of equipment procurement, he noted that the production capacity of the country’s defence industry was being expanded, and military development also included a unified system of digital integration.

The minister said innovation tasks included creating new integrated drone and communication technologies, adding that space technologies for earth surveillance were also important aspects of development.

Hungary’s Defence Innovation Research Institute is being set up as a support arm of the defence ministry, and will focus on the innovation ecosystem from the military point of view, Szalay-Bobrovniczky announced.

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