The Hungarian Authorities are going to increase the defence spending in the next year’s budget by 20%, in comparison with the budgetary plans that are in force during the current year. Additional assets are to improve the conditions of service. The money is also going to be invested in the technological modernization of the armed forces.
According to the planned 2016 budget, the defence funding is to be realized with an amount of 299 billion forints (which constitutes an equivalent amount of ca. 950 million euros). The sum is ca. 48 billion larger than the one allocated to the defence purposes in 2015, which constitutes a 22% increase in comparison with the current year.
Hende Csaba, Hungarian Minister of Defence, in his interview for the magyarhirlap.hu outlet, noted that a large portion of the additional funds is to be used to increase the attractiveness of the military service, among other changes, the remuneration received by the soldiers is going to be increased. The funds will also be allocated to expansion of the infrastructure, including the Papa airbase where an allied airlift wing is stationed. Secondly, the assets are going to be utilized within the scope of implementation of the modernization programmes, including those related to acquisition and procurement of the SHORAD Mistral systems.
Politics.hu website notes that the Hungarian Armed Forces are getting ready to take part in the anti-ISIS operation which is to be conducted in the northern part of Iraq. What is more, air-to-surface armament for the Gripen C/D multi-role jets is going to be acquired.
Hungarian Minister of Defence stressed the fact that the financial situation in the armed forces is poor, due to the budgetary cuts. Since the times of the Warsaw Pact only two, larger scale military procurement programmes were realized in Hungary – namely acquisition of the Gripen fighters and of the Mistrals VSHORAD systems. Now, replacement of most of the equipment used by the Army is required.
Until 2022 Hungary is willing to increase the defence spending up to the level of ca. 1.4% of GDP. According to the official data, contribution of this year’s spending (ca. 250 billion forints) in the GDP is estimated to reach the level of 0.75%. Most probably, should the 2016 budgetary assumptions be properly implemented, the discussed indicator would go up, however, its value would still be lower than 1% of the Hungarian GDP.