Magyar Nemzet has learned from several independent sources that the decision was made to upgrade the Hungarian Air Force’s helicopter fleet with Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters made in Poland.
One source said especially in the light of Donald Trump’s election as the new president of the United States this decision of the government “was logical.” The source said that the government has chosen “a financial construction that would allow it to start paying for the helicopters only after the 2018 general election.”
The Hungarian Air Force currently uses Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-24 Russian made helicopters, which are also capable of performing transport, and disaster management tasks.
A decision was made earlier that the used Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters will be upgraded to extend their lifetime – a Russian company was awarded with the contract.
Experts however, agree that this is only a temporary solution adding that this option is more expensive in the long run than buying new helicopters.
If the rumors are true, the government’s decision goes with the trend of other V4 countries decisions. Poland for instance, in October announced the purchase of 70 Black Hawk helicopters for EUR 3.14 billion. Earlier, the Czech and the Slovak governments also announced to buy Black Hawk helicopters.
According to a defence expert, in the first round the government might purchase seven Black Hawk helicopters, which would cost HUF 170-340 billion including training of personnel and other factors.
Franco-German Airbus, and the British-Italian AugustaWestland are also competing to win the Hungarian Air Force’s helicopter tender.
Source: mno.hu – hungarianambiance.com