Budapest, December 29 (MTI) – Hungary is set to sign a 172 billion forint (EUR 548m) helicopter procurement contract by the end of next year, Defense Minister Csaba Hende told MTI on Monday.
The government just has to take a decision on the purchase and make the necessary funding available before the tender for the aircraft can be called, Hende said. Deliveries could start in 2016 and 2017, he added.
Hungary would purchase at most 30 helicopters.
Hende said a 30 percent wage rise for soldiers from the middle of next year would cost about 11 billion forints, an amount that will come out of targeted budget reserves. At present, the Army’s payroll is about 70 billion forints a year, he added.
The pay rise is part of the introduction of a career path model for the military.
The Defense Ministry was allocated 250 billion forints in next year’s budget, about 9 billion forints more than this year.