Hungary mulls buying Israeli Iron Dome air defense system

Israeli air defense system Iron Dome. (MTI/EPA/Pool/Jack Guez)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Hungary should closely study the Israeli Iron Dome air defense system, Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said during a visit to Israel with Hungarian President Katalin Novák.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky told journalists in Israel on Wednesday that he had arrived in Israel as a representative of the government, in his capacity as defense minister. He accompanied President Novák, who was invited by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, along with outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid and incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The visit is also significant because relations between the two countries have been very good for a long time, and this is particularly evident in the field of defense,” said Szalay-Bobrovniczky.

Among other things, he said, they were shown the combined air defense system that Hungary should study in light of the lessons from Tuesday, as well as the very well-established and otherwise world-renowned Israeli high-tech cooperation between the Israeli defense industry, army, and air force.

Hungarian Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky (L) and President Katalin Novák in Israel on November 16. (Facebook)

As Remix News recently reported, Hungary’s eastern neighbor, Romania has begun negotiations with the Israeli government for the purchase of the Iron Dome air defense system.

The Iron Dome was co-developed by the Israeli defense company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the U.S.-based Raytheon group, which also produces the Patriot missile defense system for around $4 billion per unit. Israel put it into service in 2011, and since then, only two have been sold to the U.S. military for $373 million. Azerbaijan also bought one battery during the term of U.S. President Donald Trump. Each battery costs $150 million, and each interceptor missile costs $50,000.

Several countries — Singapore, Canada, South Korea, India, Finland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic — have bought only the radar of the Iron Dome system. While highly effective against both missiles and artillery shells, one battery of the Iron Dome can only cover a small area of no more than 150 square kilometers, meaning it is most effective in small countries like Israel.

The two Hungarian leaders also visited the Yad Vashem Institute and its World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.

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