Deputy Defence Minister Szilárd Németh held a press conference on the Ministry of Defence’s and Hungarian Defence Force’s budget for 2020.
The Ministry’s Parliamentary State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Defence declared that defence investments and advances aimed at increasing the status of soldiers will be continuing next year.
At the press conference held at the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Németh stressed that in 2020 the money spent on security, including defence expenditure, will exceed all previous records. The Parliamentary State Secretary and Deputy Minister explained that Hungary is currently one of the world’s safest countries, which is primarily guaranteed by the Hungarian Defence Force.
“Hungary’s Government wishes to maintain this state of affairs in future, in the interests of which it will be providing an additional 173 billion forints (EUR 540 million) in funding for security measures in 2020 compared to last year’s budget. This means that the budget of the Hungarian Defence Force will increase by 103 billion forints (EUR 321.5 million), an increase of 20 percent compared to 2019. Accordingly, the total defence budget will be 616 billion forints (EUR 1.92bn)”, Mr. Németh said.
“Out of these 616 billion forints, the Ministry will be continuing the already begun development projects of the Zrinyi 2026 Defence and Military Development Programme”, the Parliamentary State Secretary and Deputy Minister detailed. He told the press that a budget of 216 billion forints (EUR 674 million) will be available for the long-term, scheduled development projects included in the Programme, from which, for instance, the land troop support capabilities of the JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft will be established.
The budget will also enable further procurements of Airbus H145M and H225M light and medium helicopters. Mr. Németh also mentioned investments relating to land forces, including for instance the procurement of Leopard 2 A7+ tanks and PZH200 self-propelled howitzers, as well as the purchasing of Swedish Carl Gustav hand-held anti-tank weapons.
The Deputy Minister highlighted the fact that in addition to all the above, the soldiers themselves remain at the focus of the programme. The goal of the defence projects is the development of the military career model, assuring the ordered nature and calculability of the legal status of soldiers, and of course the development of their individual pieces of equipment. Pay increases for members of the law enforcement services and the Hungarian Defence Force will continue on 2020, with relation to which detailed information will be provided at a future date.
Mr. Németh also spoke about the greatest challenges threatening Europe, and therefore also Hungary. As he explained, the number of people attempting to illegally cross the border has recently increased tangibly, in view of which the Government has decided that from 1 June military personnel will once again be stationed along the country’s borders.
There are currently one thousand soldiers taking part in border-related duties, and until the end of summer 2018 a total of 18 thousand soldiers had performed border security duty, he told the press.