Hungary has the weakest army in the region: should the Russians come back? – photos
Such a question would sound blasphemous in the days of the Revolution of October 23rd, 1956, in which sending home the Soviet Army was a basic demand. However, according to hvg.hu, the Hungarian Army is so weak that it would not be able to resist until NATO forces arrive in case of a military conflict. Furthermore, it uses mostly Russian (former Soviet) military technology which – as a NATO-member – raises questions regarding national security. Especially because it is Russia that trains the pilots and drivers of our Russian helicopters and tanks.
Soviet technology, Russian help
According to hvg.hu, the Hungarian Army is entirely out-at-elbows. Only the aircraft can be regarded as more or less modern even though there are significant problems with their equipment. For example, the contract about the air-to-air missiles of the Gripens was signed only last year. Moreover, pilots cannot fly enough because
there is not enough money for fuel.
The MI-24 helicopters acquired from the German Democratic Republic in 1995 have not taken off since 2013. Recently, they were sent to Saint Petersburg for maintenance, so far 4 of them have returned.
Furthermore, Hungary got its Russian military transport helicopters from Finland. Not only the maintenance is done by the Russians but also the training of the new pilots. This is quite strange in case of a NATO-member.
Concerning ground forces, almost all weapons and equipment are old Russian ones. For example, the Hungarian Army has T-72 tanks which are all out of service. According to experts,
the army would need at least 50 new tanks.
Regarding the problem, a declaration of intent was signed with Turkey. Furthermore, Hungary would like to modernise its 600 BTR tanks also given by Russia.
Romania gets the most modern American weapons
Even though PM Orbán said many times that the NATO does not protect Hungary the truth is that the Hungarian Army would not be able to resist until NATO-forces arrive. Among the neighbours, only Austria has an adequate army. However, others are also arming themselves. For example, Romania gets the most modern American weapons since they are Washington’s most important ally in the region. Slovakia also tries to catch up with buying American Blackhawk helicopters and F-16 fighter jets. And though both Ukraine and Serbia have outdated armies, their soldiers have war experience.
In contrast, in Hungary
there are not enough soldiers.
Their number is around 27 thousand now, but about half of them work in background institutions. Besides, only one or two thousand of them have real combat experience. This is mostly because salaries are low while the life of a soldier is very hard.
To make matters worse,
corruption exists even in the Army.
According to hvg.hu, all of the companies allowed to merchandise with arms in Hungary are connected to well-known oligarchs from István Garancsi to László Szíjj or Attila Paár. As we already reported, PM Orbán attended soccer matches on board of a private plane owned by Garancsi.