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Next year’s budget ensures the continued reform of Hungary’s Armed Forces and will enable the country to bring defence spending up to 2% of GDP a year earlier than originally planned, in line with Hungary’s commitment to NATO, the defence minister said on Wednesday. Hungary’s Defence Fund guarantees that the country will be able to purchase all equipment necessary for effective defence and “restore the prestige of Hungarian troops,” the ministry cited Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky as saying in a statement. The Armed Forces will prioritise R&D&I, and contribute to a robust economy by boosting the defence industry, the minister said. In line with NATO requirements, over 20% of defence spending will go towards development in 2023, he added. Next year, development will focus on soldiers’ individual and operational equipment, the integration of the equipment purchased so far, and the introduction of new strike technology, he said.
Defence innovation is in the interest of Hungary’s national security as it eases the country’s dependence on imports and boosts supply security, he said. Defence development will also improve Hungary’s position within NATO, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said, noting that Hungarian Gripens had protected the Baltic airspace for four months this year, and the Kosovo KFOR mission operated under Hungarian command. One of the four task forces set up in response to the Ukraine-Russia war was created in Hungary, under Hungarian command, he added.