On Wednesday, 12 July, Ministerial Commissioner for Defence Innovation Brigadier General Dr. Imre Porkoláb spoke about the importance of air defence and the current stage of the development of the armed forces in the program “Ma reggel” (Today morning) of Hungarian TV channel M1, in connection with the debut of the Hungarian-developed ProTAR Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system early this week. According to the brigadier general, the new technology significantly reduces the costs of training.
“We need to support ongoing ground operations by achieving air superiority in the airspace. For this reason, it is extremely important that we can defend the airspace of our country, so the development of this capability is a priority in the current vision of the armed forces”, said Brigadier General Dr. Imre Porkoláb. According to the general, the ProTAR UAV system – a fixed-wing, jet-powered, smart remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) with a take-off weight of 65 kg – has innumerable advantages: the developer company, Rotors & Cams Ltd is a Hungarian-owned enterprise which creates jobs and will pay taxes here in Hungary, and hopefully, it will be able to export its products as well. According to the ministerial commissioner, the drone has the potential to attract serious professional and market interest in the international arena, and will probably appear at foreign shows, military exercises and maybe even in the armed forces of other nations.
Brigadier General Dr. Imre Porkoláb – at once Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) – noted that these fixed-wing, automated UAVs – which are launched from a Hungarian-developed electric-powered catapult that counts as innovative from an international viewpoint – are also suitable for formation flying, and even the operation of a fighter aircraft flight can be simulated with their use. Originally, the model was produced as an air defence target, and the Hungarian Defence Forces are planning to use the ProTAR in the preparation and training of air defence forces. The drones can simulate the signatures of an attacking plane, so they can support training through their high-level professional qualities in a more cost-efficient way than it has been done so far, the general pointed out.
The ProTAR UAV system has been developed on commission from the Hungarian Defence Forces Modernization Institute, as a result of a yearslong, complex professional-defence cooperation. “We had to rebuild the Hungarian defence industry almost from scratch, but it is very encouraging that the biggest defence industry companies are interested in the possibilities for moving their operations to Hungary. We have already seen certain examples of this, like in the case of Airbus or Rheinmetall, and these factories are now starting their production, that is, the first units are now rolling off the assembly lines”, answered the general to a question from the press about the current state of the defence industry. He underlined that the key foreign defence industry companies must be provided with domestic suppliers to the greatest possible extent.