(MTI) – The Hungarian military is on the cusp of a “technical modernisation process”, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the public media on Thursday.
After observing a military exercise in Osku, in western Hungary, Orban said that it has become necessary to replace basic equipment. He said it would be “rather costly” but added that it need not be completed “in one go”.
“If we make one or two steps forward each year, in a few years’ time we will arrive in the club of countries with a modern army,” he said.
Orban added that the government would complete a military procurement schedule by November.
Orban said helicopter procurement also figured in the government’s plans, though this wasn’t “a cheap thing”, and for this reason the government has put together a list of all possible offers and it would soon come to a decision based on what is best from the military and budget point of view.
Concerning the exercise, Orban said that it had been a simulation of current clashes along the Ukraine-Russia border. He noted that NATO had been determined to hold an international military exercise which simulates the situation which has emerged on the Ukraine-Russia border and mitigates threats. “We continually have to show strength,” he said, adding that in order for people to obtain the right to have peace, strength is needed, and the current exercises are a demonstration of this strength.
Hungary is now strong enough to be capable of cooperating within NATO — and soon with the strength of a battalion, he said.
The prime minister confirmed that Hungary would raise its military spending.
Defence Minister Csaba Hende said in a speech that the events in Ukraine have again demonstrated that the security of Hungary and the region can only be guaranteed within the framework of NATO. “This crisis has reaffirmed the value of the alliance,” he said, adding that the value of central Europe within the alliance had also been reaffirmed.
Photo: MTI – Szilard Koszticsak