Hungary has issued tender details for the purchase of three new transport aircraft, the Armaments and Quartermaster Office of the Hungarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 7 June.
The purchase of fixed-wing aircraft procurement has been set an estimated budget of HUF 5 billion (USD 22 million). The programme aims to enlarge Hungary's airlift fleet, alongside relevant training, ground support equipment, and spare parts. MoD officials told IHS Jane's that the government is considering the purchase of second-hand aircraft.
Two options have been proposed for the purchase of the three aircraft: firstly, two passenger and one military transport aircraft; or one passenger and two military transport aircraft. Bidders may choose one of the two options. Tenders may be offered in Hungarian or English, with the window for tenders opening on 1 July and closing on 11 July. The contracting period will begin on 1 August and must be completed by 31 December. The first aircraft should be delivered no later than 15 weeks from the signing of the contract.
National Consensus on Rotary-Wing and Airlift Capabilities (23. Mai 2013)
In the morning of Wednesday, May 22, upon Minister of Defence Csaba Hende’s initiative a four-party consultation was held in the Ministry of Defence on the current state of the rotary and fixed-wing capabilities of the Hungarian Defence Forces. Besides the Minister of Defence, also present at the meeting were Zsolt Csampa (Fidesz), Imre Iváncsik (MSZP), Nándor Jámbor (Jobbik), Zsolt Németh (Jobbik) and Tamás Básthy (KDNP).
The four parties fully agree on the procedure and the schedule drawn up by the MoD for managing these issues.
Minister Hende told the press that the representatives of the parties had agreed that the rotary-wing and fixed-wing capabilities of the Hungarian Defence Forces were obsolete, and the final loss of capabilities would be totally impermissible and unacceptable. The Ministry is currently working out a complex approach in order to be able to find the most economical and professional long-term solution, and to implement the optimal development projects. With the closedown of MALÉV, Hungary has been left without a state-owned airlift capability, so currently neither the military nor the civil nor the other state-level needs are satisfied, and the An-26 transport aircraft of the Hungarian Defence Forces are also obsolete. The goal is to create a state-owned airlift fleet, which would be able to carry out the tasks of passenger and cargo transport for Hungary and the Hungarian Defence Forces cost-effectively and independently. This means airlifts to foreign missions and the delivery of hazardous materials to their destination that are not transportable by civil aircraft, the rescue of Hungarian citizens who are left stranded abroad because of extraordinary conditions and their required in-flight medical treatment, as well as the management of emergency organ transportation by air and the tasks of other state-level and law enforcement bodies abroad.
The Minister pointed out that the national rotary-wing capability must be generated. This means the creation of an economically operable, modern fleet which meets the challenges of the 21st century, being capable of carrying out tasks related to territorial defence and allied commitments, disaster management, counter-terrorism, air policing and other tasks of the national economy. The parliamentary parties gratefully approved the long-running preparations for the meeting, and the schedule for generating the national rotary-wing capability. On this basis, a team of MoD experts will examine the needs of Hungary and the Hungarian Defence Forces in order to formulate the statements of requirements by this autumn, then it will prepare a tender meeting all these requirements. The Ministry will put forward the latter to the parliamentary parties at the next four-party consultation, and then it will launch an EU public procurement procedure by the relevant laws. Potential bidders are required to hand in their proposals before next year’s parliamentary elections, so that the new government can make a virtually immediate decision about the procurement by a legal deadline.
Answering a question, Minister Hende said that the Ministry of Defence adopts a complex perspective on generating the rotary-wing capability and on making the necessary capabilities available by operating the existing aircraft in the period until its creation. The number of aircraft to be upgraded and the extent of the upgrade will ensure the availability of necessary capabilities and Hungary’s security fort he period until the new and modern helicopters have entered service.
Decision on Helicopters Is Due at the Beginning of the Next Term of Government (15. April 2013)
Decision on the helicopter procurement of the Hungarian Defence Forces can be taken at the start of the next term of government next year, the Minister of Defence said in the program “Ütköző” of Kossuth Radio on Friday, April 12.
Minister Hende said that on taking office, the government had learnt that the renewal and maintenance of HDF helicopters did not meet the required standards, as a result of which a lot of helicopters ceased to be airworthy. The Minister announced that they must find a long-term solution to this problem. They intend to take the relevant decision with the consensus of all political forces, all parliamentary parties, he added.
The Minister explained that currently an international tender is being prepared and discussed by experts in the Ministry of Defence. This tender sets out the requirements and expectations regarding Hungary’s helicopter capabilities for the next four decades, which are needed partly for military and partly for civil purposes, for example disaster management roles. The tender will be discussed with the parliamentary parties and will be announced so that a decision can be made on this issue at the beginning of the next term of government, the Minister said. At the same time, he also noted that budgetary resources must be allocated for this purpose.