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Hungary can become a regional defence industry hub in both production and research and development, the technology and industry ministry said in connection with European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton’s visit to the ZalaZONE test track and the nearby Rheinmetall infantry fighting vehicle plant in western Hungary. The commissioner’s visit came at the invitation of Technology and Industry Minister László Palkovics. Hungary is contributing to the development of Europe’s joint defence capabilities by rebuilding its own defence industry, they said. Hungary’s defence industry strategy is based on boosting its high-tech sector’s annual turnover to at least 500 billion forints (EUR 1.2bn) and strengthening its innovation capability by 2030, the ministry said. It is for this purpose that Hungary has established a broad cooperation with German defence giant Rheinmetall, it added. The Rheinmetall plant in Zalaegerszeg can start manufacturing Lynx combat vehicles early next year, and by then the ZalaZONE track will be ready for testing them. Hungary has built one of Europe’s largest and most modern vehicle test tracks in Zalaegerszeg, the ministry said, noting that the facility’s defence industry capacities are continually being expanded. “EU member states must find adequate responses to the defence challenges posed by the war in Ukraine as well,” the ministry cited Palkovics as saying. More resources than ever before are being devoted to boosting Hungary’s defence industry, he added.