French soldiers use a Mistral missile in 2009. (Francois Mori / AFP)
WARSAW — The Hungarian Ministry of Defense has signed a deal with European missile producer MBDA to upgrade the Mistral 2 short-range surface-to-air missile systems operated by the country’s armed forces.
Under the plan, Hungary’s Mistral 2 missiles will be modernized and overhauled. The procurement will allow the Hungarian military “to comply with NATO obligations at a higher level” and enhance the country’s “defense capability,” the ministry said in a press release.
The upgraded missile systems will be fitted with Matis MP3 optronic aiming sights. In addition to this, the Defense Ministry will acquire new Mistral 3 missiles to bolster its air defense system.
The contract is to be implemented from 2016 to 2018. The amount of the deal was not disclosed.
Hungary has been operating Mistral 2 missiles since 1997. The missile launchers are mounted on Atlas vehicles, according to the Defense Ministry.
The contract was signed by Col. Tibor Balla, the deputy director general of the ministry’s defense economy office, and Didier Philippe, MBDA’s senior vice-president for Europe.
MBDA’s shareholders include Airbus Group, BAE Systems and Finmeccanica. In 2013, the group posted a turnover of €2.8 billion and produced some 3,000 missiles, according to data released by MBDA.