Hungary strengthens its Army and defense industry with new Lynx IFV

Following the recent news that Hungary will establish a joint venture to produce Lynx infantry fighting vehicles (IFV);

Stelios Kanavakis, Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on the latest development:

“The joint venture that the Hungarian Armed Forces and Rheinmetall have agreed to establish marks Lynx IFV’s first export contract and most importantly, it is an opportunity for Rheinmetall to expand its presence in the Hungarian defense market after the sale of the PzH2000 and the Leopard-2A4 and 2A7+.

“It will also support Hungary’s effort to develop its indigenous defense industry and potentially become a supplier, and eventually promote Lynx in neighboring markets. According to GlobalData’s armored vehicles market data, countries in the region have opted to upgrade their capabilities and bring them to NATO standards by acquiring new wheeled APCs or IFVs. Although wheels offer many advantages in terms of operational and maintenance cost, as well as speed, tracked platforms can perfectly complement MBTs in their ability to cross any type of ground.

“The IFV program is expected to cost around US$2.38bn (€2bn) and will allow the Hungarian Army to withdraw legacy platforms such as the BTR-80 and BRDM-2 armored vehicles, thus improving the capabilities of its mechanized units.

“Hungary announced in 2019 an increase of US$350m for the Ministry of Defense (MoD), bringing its overall defense budget close to US$2.10bn (2019 prices). According to the government, close to a third of the budget would be spent on procuring new equipment, as part of the Zrinyi 2026 Defence and Military Development Programme. That increase will continue in 2021, when the defense budget will be 1.66% of the GDP or US$2.618bn in absolute values, bringing Hungary closer to the group of countries that fulfil the goal of 2% of GDP being spent on defense, as set by NATO.”

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