Today, Hungary will receive a new batch of Airbus H145M light utility helicopters at its Szolnok air force helicopter base, conservative daily Magyar Nemzet reports.
This will bring the number of the small rotary wing aircraft to 13, with another three expected to be delivered by the end of the year, with the full complement expected to arrive by mid-2021.
Hungary took delivery of its first two H145M helicopters last November. The total of 20 helicopters will be delivered in different configurations, making them, depending on the model, capable of troop transport, medevac, search and rescue, ground troop fire support, reconnaissance, and day and night border patrol.
The H145M will replace the Hungarian Air Force’s 14 Soviet Mi-17 utility helicopters. The helicopters that will play a potential combat role will all have Airbus’ highest H-Force armament system.
The Hungarian Air Force also has 16 Airbus H225M “Super Puma” multi-role helicopters on order to replace its Mi-24 helicopters.
As part of its extensive “Zrínyi 2026” armed forces modernization program, Hungary is also buying 44 German-made Leopard 2A7+ main battle tanks, new integrated air defense missile systems, 24 PzH self-propelled howitzers, and is completely replacing its troops’ small arms in a cooperation and licensing deal with Czeska Zbrojovka. The country also plans to add several hundred Turkish armored combat vehicles.
The Airbus contract also includes a five-year logistics and training program, as well as building a helicopter parts factory in Gyula in southeastern Hungary.
Title image: Airbus H145M utility helicopters at the Szolnok air force base. (source: Magyar Nemzet)