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Govʼt buys arms company HDS

The Hungarian state has announced the purchase of arms company Hirtenberger Defence Systems (HDS), one of the worldʼs leading mortar producers, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

A 120mm HDS mortar.

The U.K.-Austrian-owned company has been developing artillery equipment and ammunition for more than a century.

Hungarian-owned HDT Védelmi Ipari Kft. signed the acquisition contract on October 29. HDS will continue its activities at its sites in Austria, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, but more Hungarian engineers will be involved in research and development activities.

The purchase price was kept a business secret at the request of the Austrian partner, the government commissioner said, adding that it was covered from a bank loan.

"With this purchase, we have acquired knowledge in the area of domestic high-caliber ammunition manufacturing that [...] would  [otherwise] have taken four to five years and billions of taxpayersʼ money to achieve," Gáspár Maróth, government commissioner coordinating defense industry developments said.

Carsten Barth, CEO of Hirtenberger Defence Systems, said, "I am very glad that our new owner, HDT Védelmi Ipari Kft. opens the way for our further growth, the continuation of our research and development activities, and opportunities in the expanding global defense sector."