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Development of the Hungarian Armed Forces and Defence-Industrial Complex: The Strategy of V. OrbánТs Government
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

Development of the Hungarian Armed Forces and Defence-Industrial Complex: The Strategy of V. OrbánТs Government

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2023-4-55-66
© Kirill S. TEREMETSKIY, 2023
Received 16.08.2023.
Revised 01.12.2023.
Accepted 07.12.2023.
Kirill S. TEREMETSKIY (, ORCID: 0009-0005-0013-5954,
National Research University ‘Higher School of Economics’, 17, Malaya Ordynka Str., Moscow 119017, Russian Federation.
The article examines Hungary’s modernization of Armed Forces and expansion of the capabilities of the country’s defence-industrial complex (DIC). Using the neorealistic paradigm, the author analyzes the main directions in which the Hungarian army and the MIC developed during the leadership of the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The 10-year development program of the Hungarian Defence Forces – Zrínyi – involves a significant increase in their capabilities by 2026. Official plans to expand and modernize the DIC include the target to make the Hungarian state one of the leaders of the defense industry in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) by 2030. The main partners in this area are going to be companies not only from the member states of the European Union (Germany, France and the Czech Republic), but also from Turkey and Israel. Reforming the army and increasing the technological level of the DIC are primarily aimed at strengthening the country’s economy and protecting the state borders and Hungarian citizens both in Hungary itself and in Ukraine, in Transcarpathia. At the same time, the Prime Minister V. Orbán is confident that NATO’s actions can only be aimed at self-defense. This is related to the refusal of the Hungarian authorities to supply weapons to Kiev. However, Hungary is not only strengthening mechanized troops (German Lynx infantry fighting vehicles, Turkish Gidrán armored personnel carriers), the country’s Air Force (Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripen aircraft) and Air Defense (Norwegian–American NASAMS anti-aircraft missile complex), but also, reflecting on the experience of the conflict in Ukraine, returns to the use of artillery, considers the possibility of producing drones and more ammunition on its territory, and also wants to increase the offensive potential of its Armed Forces thanks to modern multiple rocket launchers like HIMARS. Despite the fact that Hungary, according to V. Orbán, is on the side of the ‘peace party’, in the future, as part of NATO in the CEE region, there will be a modernized army with a proper defence-industrial complex, ready for a ‘new generation’ conflict. The Hungarian political opposition in turn advocates for military assistance to Ukraine and curtailing relations with Russia, while being actively encouraged by the United States.


About the author: Kirill S. TEREMETSKIY, Expert of the Eurasian Section of the Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies (CCEIS).
Competing interests: no potential competing financial or non-financial interest was reported by the author.
Funding: no funding was received for conducting this study.

For citation:

Teremetskiy K. Development of the Hungarian Armed Forces and Defence-Industrial Complex: The Strategy of V. OrbánТs Government. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2023, no 4, pp. 55-66.

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