Hungary - Military

Military

Main article: Military of Hungary

The Military of Hungary, or "Hungarian Armed Forces" currently has two branches, the "Hungarian Ground Force" and the "Hungarian Air Force". The Hungarian Ground Force (or Army) is known as the "Corps of Homeland Defenders" (Honvédség). This term was originally used to refer to the revolutionary army established by Lajos Kossuth and the National Defence Committee of the Revolutionary Hungarian Diet in September 1848 during the Hungarian Revolution.

Hussar: A type of irregular light horsemen was already well established by the 15th century in medieval Hungary. Hussar refers to a number of types of light cavalry created in Hungary in the 15th century and used throughout Europe and even in America since the 18th century. Some modern military units retain the title 'hussar' for reasons of tradition.

In 1997, Hungary spent about 123 billion HUF ($560 million) on defense. Hungary became a member of NATO on March 12, 1999. Hungary provided airbases and support for NATO's air campaign against Serbia and has provided military units to serve in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led KFOR operation. Hungary has sent a 300 strong logistics unit to Iraq in order to help the US occupation with armed transport convoys, though public opinion opposed the country's participation in the war. One soldier was killed in action due to a roadside bomb in Iraq. The parliament refused to extend the one year mandate of the logistics unit and all troops have returned from Iraq as of mid-January 2005. Hungarian troops are still in Afghanistan as of early 2005 to assist in peace-keeping and de-talibanization. Hungary will most probably replace its old GAZ 4x4 vehicles with the modern Iveco LMV types. Hungarian forces deploy the Gepárd anti-materiel rifle, which is a heavy 12,7 mm portable gun. This equipment is also in use by the Turkish and Croatian armed forces, among other armies.

New transport helicopter purchases are on the list before. Most probably this will happen before 2015.

In a significant move for modernization, Hungary decided in 2001 to buy 14 JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft (the contract includes 2 dual-seater airplanes and 12 single-seaters as well as ground maintenance facilities, a simulator, and training for pilots and ground crews) for 210 billion HUF (about 800 million EUR). Five Gripens (3 single-seaters and 2 two-seaters) arrived in Kecskemét on March 21, 2006, expected to be transferred to the Hungarian Air Force on March 30. 10 or 14 more aircraft of this type might follow up in the coming years.

Hungary has one of the heaviest and most qualified warship battalion in East-Central Europe, only Hungary operates rived-based military forces of the surrounding NATO-members. The Home Defence Pyrotechnician and Warship Battalion of the Hungarian Defence Forces based in Újpest Port, on the River Danube, Budapest. In the 2000s (decade), the army bought new minesweepers, restored or retired the old ones. On national holidays warships come along the River Danube in Budapest.

According to the 2012 Global Peace Index, Hungary is one of the world's most peaceful countries (17th on the list).

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