WARSAW, Poland — Lt. Gen. Tibor Benkő, the chief of Hungary’s General Staff of the Armed Forces, has unveiled plans to acquire three transport aircraft for the country’s Air Force next spring, and a further three planes at a later date.
The planned procurements are part of the country’s Zrinyi 2026 military development program. Hungarian Defence Minister István Simicskó said Dec. 6 that, under the 10-year program, the ministry is also planning to purchase an unspecified number of helicopters for the Hungarian military, local news agency MTI reported.
Currently, the country’s military depends on Soviet-designed aircraft for its transport capability. The acquisitions would allow the Hungarian Air Force to replace its Antonov An-26 planes with new aircraft.
The value of the planned procurements was not disclosed by the Hungarian ministry.
With the helo acquisition in the pipeline, Budapest is making efforts to maintain the operational capacities of its copter fleet. Last October, Hungary’s Defence Ministry signed a deal with Russian Helicopters to overhaul its 12 Mil Mi-24 combat helos. Two months prior, the state-owned group completed the overhaul of four of Hungary’s Mil Mi-17 transport copters under a contract awarded a year earlier for a total of 3.9 billion forints (U.S. $14.6 million).