WARSAW — The Hungarian military will replace its transport helicopter fleet by 2016, Defense Minister Csaba Hende told local news agency MTI in an interview July 7.
The planned procurement will significantly strengthen Hungary’s airlift capability, Hende said.
According to earlier statements by the minister, some 100 billion forints (US $436.8 million) are to be spent to replace Hungary’s Mi-8 copters with new craft. Moreover, a further 5 billion forints will be spent by the military on acquiring new transport aircraft, he said.
In early July, Hende also announced that in addition to overhauling its copter fleet, Hungary needs to set up an infantry unit by 2023, strengthen the Army’s special operations capability and develop its stabilization and reconstruction capabilities.
The minister said these moves are in line with national military strategy and have been requested by NATO. Hungary’s defense spending in terms of percentage of gross domestic product remains the third-lowest among NATO member states, Hende said.
In 2013, Hungary allocated 241.37 billion forints to its defense budget, an increase of some 7 billion forints over a year earlier.