Hungarian troops near the Ukrainian border - Photo: MTI

Hungary speeding up military revamp

As part of Hungary's revamp of its armed forces, the country will receive 44 new Leopard 2A7 tanks, with the first arriving in June next year, and the first batch of 24 "long awaited" PzH2000 self-propelling guns will arrive before the current year is out, Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky, the defence minister, said at a military ceremony in Tata, in western Hungary, on Monday.

Hungary is speeding up the revamp of its military “in light of the current situation”, the minister said, noting the government had recently established a defence fund for ensuring developments continue apace, “despite war-time inflation and global economic difficulties”.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky also noted that the cabinet decided last week to award “an outstanding pay rise, on an unparallelled scale compared with recent decades,” to armed forces personnel.

Concerning a recent decision to put the military on higher alert, the minister said soldiers “should be where the pressure is highest”, on the frontline of the country’s defences.

“Our soldiers will now come out of their barracks to get prepared and spend most of their time and energy engaged in military exercises”, he said, adding “war can never be a goal; we must concentrate on preventing it.”

Szalay-Bobrovniczky warned that “the end to the Russia-Ukraine war is not in sight yet”.

“We must reinforce the country’s security, because peace requires strength,” he said.

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