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The Hungarian nation was known for centuries for its military virtues, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at an oath-taking ceremony of volunteer soldiers and the inauguration of Lynx armoured infantry fighting vehicles, adding that Hungarians were at their best when “there is an obstacle to overcome”. Orbán noted that the primary task in the past had been to reorganise the Hungarian state. The economy has now made up lost ground, the crime rate has been pushed down, public safety has been restored and public administration renewed, but there is still more to be done when it comes to the Hungarian military, he said. Hungary is building a modern military because it needs soldiers who want to serve their country as well as effective, modern weapons, Orbán said. Because the government wants people to be able to move between military service and civilian life, the government has made changes to the institution of voluntary service, the prime minister noted. Volunteers are the bridge between civilians and the military, he said, arguing that they were the soldiers whom the public encounters most often. Orbán added that more recruitment campaigns will be launched in December. Concerning the inauguration of the Lynx armoured vehicles, he said the military industry was being brought to Hungary, noting that the government was taking steps to develop this sector.
Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, the defence minister, said that the Lynx combat vehicle was one of the most modern pieces of military equipment available.
Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, commander of the military, welcomed the government’s support for the military and that companies and investors like German defence giant Rheinmetall were supplying the Hungarian army with 21st-century technology. He also thanked those who were committing themselves to voluntary military service.
Armin Papperger, Rheinmetall’s CEO, said it was advantageous that Hungary had a government that took care of its military. He said it was clear that the new soldiers were committed to defending their country, Europe and NATO.
According to the defence ministry, Rheinmetall is set to deliver 46 Lynx combat vehicles to Hungary by 2023. It will deliver 172 by 2029, which will be manufactured in Hungary.