The development of the Hungarian armed forces started in the mid-2010s. An important part of this is the development of the Hungarian defence industry. This is also reflected in the construction and expansion of several factories. Weapons in Hungary are not only used by the Hungarian Defence Forces. The government hopes to put Hungary on the map of the international arms market.
Arms factories open across Hungary
The news of the past few years is that a plant for the production of armoured fighting vehicles is to be built in Zalaegerszeg. Here Rheinmetall will produce infantry fighting vehicles. Partly for the Hungarian Defence Forces, partly for export.
The Zalaegerszeg factory is part of a large project. The aim of the Hungarian government is to develop the capabilities of the armed forces and to make Hungary a major player in the defence industry.
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Kaposvár will be a wheeled combat vehicle factory. In Várpalota, there will be large calibre ammunition production and explosives production. Both projects will be developed in cooperation with Rheinmetall.
A German company will set up a plant in Nyírtelek to produce military radars. Gyula will produce helicopter parts for both civil and military applications. Small arms are already being produced in Kiskunfélegyháza. In addition, the Hungarian state owns an Austrian mortar factory. Most of the plants will be ready by the mid to second half of 2020.
In addition, further cooperation with foreign defence companies, in addition to Rheinmetall, is expected. According to portfolio.hu, the procurement of reconnaissance, strike and suicide drones is also expected to be announced.
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There may also be a market for exports
The timing of the military-industrial development coincides with the surge in demand for arms internationally. In Europe in particular, demand for weapons and military equipment is high.
Since the 2014 Crimea crisis, European forces have been looking to develop their military capabilities, and the Russian-Ukrainian war has given them a new impetus. Poland, Greece and Germany, for example, are planning to buy weapons. But EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has also said that many European countries’ arms stocks are either depleted or not up to date enough.
But it is not only the European market the Hungarian defence industry wants to penetrate. The Middle East, South America, Iraq and the United States could also be potential target markets.
Despite the development and rising demand, it is not yet certain whether all Hungarian weapons will be purchased. Hungary cannot be considered a traditional major military-industrial country. Since the change of regime, this industry has significantly declined.
However, Hungary is not the only country to start producing weapons. Well-established, reputable foreign companies are bringing manufacturing plants to Hungary. They are producing weapons of non-Hungarian design and brand, which is a new way to enter the market. Rheinmetall is one of the world’s largest and most important players in the defence industry.
The disadvantage is that the profit is not as high, but the risk is lower. When buying arms, it is also important to have the right political connections. If there is no allied state, it will be hard to find buyers even with products of exceptional quality, növekedés.hu writes.
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Source: portfolio.hu, növekedés.hu
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