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Armed forces development goes on in full swing

Text: Ferenc Antal | Photo: Szebáld Szakál, Sztaniszláv Horváth |  10:46 November 2, 2023

“The production of Gidrán combat vehicles is about to start in Győr”, announced Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky at his press conference held in the Ministry of Defence in Budapest on Tuesday, 31 October.

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Ergin Ufuk Aykol, CEO of the Turkish defence industry company Nurol Makina, Mehmet Atak, CEO, Nurol Makina Hungary Ltd as well as Dr. László Palkovics, CEO, N7 Holding National Defence Industry Innovation Ltd and Béla Hetzmann, CEO, RÁBA Automotive Holding Ltd recently signed a memorandum of understanding in Budapest on the establishment of a joint venture. The memorandum was countersigned by Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky.

At the press conference following the signature of the document, the minister said that the development of the Hungarian armed forces is going on at a steady pace with several visible signs, from the procurement of new weapon systems to the launch of military and defence industry investment projects.

“As early as 2015-2016, the government of Hungary realized that the region of Central Europe is facing increasing security challenges, and therefore the Hungarian armed forces must be prepared for being able to guarantee the security of Hungarian people at all times”, said the Minister of Defence, who emphasized that the building of the Hungarian defence industry serves the strengthening of domestic economy, which is in our national interest.

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Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky highlighted that in this regard, the internationally significant Nurol Makina factory is Hungary’s key strategic partner, thanks to which 50 Gidrán armored combat vehicles have already entered service with the Hungarian Defence Forces. With the commissioning of this combat vehicle type – which is christened “Gidrán” in the Hungarian armed forces after an ancient Hungarian horse breed – the developing Hungarian Defence Forces have acquired a capability that has very soon become an indispensable part of all of the soldiers’ activities.

The minister noted that the defence integration of the Gidrán vehicles – that is, the complementation of the Turkish base motor vehicle with tactical, radio and electronic equipment and sensors – has so far taken place in Kaposvár, and will continue to be implemented there. Under the now signed memorandum of understanding, from now on the manufacturing of the vehicle itself will also be taking place in Győr, Hungary. At the same time, besides the manufacturing activity, great emphasis will also be laid on research, development and innovation. “This manufacturing process is not merely about fulfilling the Hungarian Defence Forces’ own needs – which translates into the production of hundreds of units in the coming years anyway – but also about the birth of an export product. This joint manufacturing capacity will produce these vehicles for the international markets as well.”

The Minister of Defence pointed out that a cooperation like this involves the transfer of know-how and technology as well as the creation of new jobs. “We are envisioning at least 200 new jobs, which are going to be created anyway in the framework of the agreement being outlined now, and the building and strengthening of supply chains – the development of a Hungarian-owned supply chain operating in Hungary – are also inextricably linked with the manufacturing process”, added Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, who also announced that they intend to register the joint venture under the name “Gidrán”.