Like in The Good Old Days: Hungary’s Military Protects Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia
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Like in The Good Old Days: Hungary’s Military Protects Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia

The Hungarian Air Force will protect the airspace of Slovakia, Slovenia and partly Croatia. Why do we write “good old days”? Because of our common History. Before the Peace Treaty of Trianon (1920), the Hungarian military protected these lands from hostilities. The Armed Forces of Hungary is on the verge of a “historic opportunity” to become a reformed, capable and dedicated military force, Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said on Friday, addressing a National Defence Day celebration, MTI wrote. 

Temporarily, Hungary and Italy will protect Croatia’s airspace, a local newspaper wrote. The Croatian defence minister said that their pilots and service staff would go to prepare for the use of the French Rafale fighters. However, he did not tell the press when that would happen. The first Rafales will arrive in Croatia in Q1 2024. By then, the Croatian Air Forces need to be ready. Hungary has JAS 39 Gripen fighters, while Italy will use Eurofighter Typhoons and F–35 Lightnings to accomplish the task. The Hungarian pilots will monitor the East and Central Croatia, wrote.

The pilots and the aircraft will not be in Croatia, but, in case of emergency, they will be allowed to enter Croatian airspace. Currently, Hungary protects the airspace of Slovenia and Slovakia. Croatia and Hungary agreed in 2019 about allowing Hungary to monitor Croatian airspace.

Minister: Hungary military ‘on verge of historic opportunity’

Hungary’s military is now presented with a big, perhaps final chance, the minister told the event at the Balna Centre on the Pest side of the River Danube, arguing that though the development of the country’s army had been talked about and pursued in the past, the war in Ukraine had “created a completely new situation”. Though the Hungarian army has already had many positive elements, “it hasn’t been what we all want to see it as: a force capable of fully guaranteeing the security of the Hungarian people within NATO”, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said. “But now, it has all come together,” he added.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky said President Katalin Novák, as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and he himself were all committed to Hungary’s military reform. Despite the difficult economic situation caused by the war, Hungary has all the resources needed for the necessary upgrades, he said, noting that next year’s budget again allocates 2 percent of GDP towards defence. He noted that the defence ministry had launched a recruitment campaign earlier this year to raise awareness of how defence was a shared national issue.

National Defence Day approaches

As regards the tasks before the Armed Forces, Szalay-Bobrovniczky noted the importance of procuring new NATO-compatible equipment. Also, a profound change in organisational culture is needed so that the army is a combat ready force, he said, emphasising the importance of the military’s rejuvenation. The appointment of Gábor Böröndi as the chief of staff ensures that this change in organisational culture “is spearheaded by the best people possible”, he added. National Defence Day marks the anniversary of May 21, 1849, when the independent Hungarian army succeeded in recapturing the castle of Buda after a three-week siege.

Source: Daily News Hungary