Hungary is likely to buy €250 million worth of so-called suicide drones, also known as loitering munitions, from German defense contractor Rheinmetall AG.
In a discussion on a military equipment internet group, a posting appeared showing a slide from the company’s first quarter results presentation, showing this year’s potential purchases, which include an item “Loitering Ammo ~€250 million”.
While the slide did not specify, it is likely that the drones in question are the Hero drones, manufactured by Rheinmetall’s Israeli subsidiary Uvision Air Ltd., which has a wide range of such drones from man-portable short-range ones up to vehicle-mounted drones for long-range strategic missions.
The other items on the Rheinmetall presentation are a research and development plant in Hungary, which has been already announced, in support of the Lynx infantry fighting vehicles Hungary purchased from them and an ammunition factory for the also Rheinmetall-made Oerlikon air defense systems.
Switchblade suicide drones from the United States are reportedly being used on the battlefield in Ukraine, although there is little information about how effective they have been against Russian forces.
The biggest item on the leaked slide is a purchase that Hungary has yet to confirm, referring to “digitalisation and soldier systems” valued at €1.5 billion.
The total value of the prospective or under implementation deals is €2.02 billion. Hungarian officials have not yet commented on the information.