Hungary has ordered 20 H145M military helicopters as part of its armed forces modernization program, Airbus said in a release.
The helicopters are equipped with the company’s HForce weapons management system, which will allow Hungary “to equip and operate their aircraft with a large set of ballistic or guided air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons,” Airbus said in the Friday, June 29 release.
The qualification of HForce for use on the H145M is planned for this year.
The H145M is a twin-engine light utility helicopter that can be used for troop transport, surveillance, armed reconnaissance, medical evacuation and air rescue. It can carry up to nine passengers and two crew. The helicopters ordered by Hungary will include a fast roping system, fire support equipment, ballistic protection and an electronic countermeasures system.
In addition, the helicopter is equipped with the Helionix digital avionics suite which includes a high-performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload, Airbus said.
The company will also provide a training and support package.
The H145M was first delivered to the German Armed Forces in 2015 and is on order from both Thailand and Serbia. The U.S. Army operates its UH-72A Lakota version.
The Hungarian Ministry of Defence made the order as part of the Zrinyi 2026 military modernization program. Last year it ordered acquired two A319 military troop transporters from Airbus.
Zrinyi 2026 is Hungary’s armed forces development scheme, announced last year. The government decided to raise the annual defense budget to 2 percent of GDP by 2024. As part of the program, the defense ministry will purchase 40 helicopters and increase its military reserves to 20,000 personnel by 2026. The air force’s Gripen fighter jets are also due to be upgraded.
Hungarian Defense Forces chief of staff Tibor Benko said in January that Hungary is not obligated to buy military equipment exclusively from NATO member states, and that 12 of its Russian-made Mi-24 helicopters are currently undergoing modernization in Russia.
Good for Hungary!
Unfortunately, the Hungarian military is too small regardless of how new their weapons are. With authorized manpower of 29,700 (about half the size of the New York City police department) and actual manpower of only about 26,500 the Hungarian military is completely incapable of protecting the country from aggression. It cannot even hold off an aggressor long enough to allow NATO assistance to arrive. To make matters worse there are a lot of old, out of shape males in the armed forces and the percentage of females (19%) is one of the highest in the world. There are no real, well trained, well armed reserves. This is not a lethal armed force and will not last more than 48-72 hours in modern combat. Hungary is also under the delusion that the Western NATO countries will come, fight and die for a country that has refused to spend adequately for its national defense for the past 30 years. Hungary cannot afford to lose any more wars!