The Hungarian Defence Force acquired two A319 aircraft announced Minister of Defense István Simicskó on Wednesday at a press conference in Budapest.
Regarding the purchasing price of the two aircraft Simicskó remarked that the 8 and 9 year-old carriers cost less than half of the original price – new ones cost 70-80 million euros each.
Chief of staff Tibor Benkő noted that the purchasing price also includes the training of pilots and technical personnel, as well as the creation of the proper operating conditions at Kecskemét airbase.
Benkő said the airsplanes will function as multi-purpose carriers capable of transporting troops and their equipment for military missions around the world.
The two airplanes arrive in Hungary in the next few weeks and will be used the first time during troops rotation in Afghanistan in the spring said Simicskó.
The minister emphasized that the Hungarian Defense Force carries out military missions in 14 countries, so the transportation, evacuation of troops, and Hungarian citizens from crisis stricken areas will be ensured in the future.
The minister said that
the current An-26 transport aircraft were 40-45 years old, and they had to be replaced.
Soon, the ministry will issue tender to buy new carriers as well.
In the next couple of years, there will be substantial changes, in terms of air transport capabilities in the air force – the defense minister said.
He remarked that this year alone, the ministry had to rent transport aircraft 55 times to carry out troops evacuation.
According to the chief of staff, this is an exciting period in the life of the Hungarian Defence Force. The ongoing Zrinyi 2026 program foresees the largest modernization of the Hungarian Armed Forces in the past 43 years.
Benkő added that all technical, logistical and personal conditions for the creation of strategic air transport capabilities will be established at a Hungarian air base.
Source: MTI – hungarianambiance.com