Hungary has one of Central Europe’s most potent armies, new study shows

Hungary’s new Leopard 2A4 (L) and Leopard 2A7+ (R) tanks at a demonstration at the German manufacturer’s Munich plant on July 3. (MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Prior to the successive conservative governments of Viktor Orbán starting in 2010, the Hungarian army was lagging behind most of its regional peers. Now, the country has made huge strides in developing its military, the latest study has shown.

According to the Global Firepower (GFP) 2023 index, which is widely cited in international forums, Hungary now has the 20th most capable army in Europe. Only Romania (16th) and the Czech Republic (17th) have a greater military capacity in the Central European region.

Globally, there has also been a positive trend. In 2017, Hungary’s military was ranked 63rd out of the 100 countries surveyed; last year it was 56th; and this year it is 54th. Serbia, Slovakia, Croatia, Austria, Slovenia, and Bulgaria are now among the countries ranking behind Hungary.

The GFP index takes into account a country’s population, natural endowments, resources, geography, and budget. It also acknowledges a nation’s military manpower (including reserves), as well as land, air, and water assets.

The United States remains in the top spot while Bhutan, according to the Global Firepower index, is in last place.

According to a statement sent to the Mandiner news portal by the Ministry of Defense, the Hungarian government’s aim is to create a modern defense force capable of meeting the challenges of the times and to further strengthen the security of Hungary and its allies. Moreover, the defense forces seek to regain and acquire meaningful, applicable, and deployable capabilities.

The ministry stressed that the vast majority of new equipment is being procured from European, including domestic, manufacturers, so Hungary will also contribute to the development of the European defense industry.

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