Hungary to Expand Gripen Fleet With 4 Aircraft

Analysis

Gripen fighter jets at the Kecskemét Airbase.

Image by Janossy Gergely / Shutterstock.com

Hungary will add four aircraft to its fleet of Gripen fighter jets, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after a meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in Budapest on Friday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

An extension of Hungary's contract for the Gripen fleet will boost the country's military capability and strengthen its ability to take on roles abroad, Orbán said. The Hungarian Air Force's ability to cooperate on fulfilling Hungary's tasks as an ally outside of the area of the country is especially important in the context of the changed security environment due to the war in Ukraine, he added.

The addition of the four aircraft will bring Hungary's Gripen fleet to 18 fighters.

Orbán said Hungary had agreed with Sweden to extend a contract on logistics services for military systems and broaden it to include training.

Under another agreement, Saab and Hungary's Defense Research Institute will open a center of excellence focusing on artificial intelligence, he added.

Kristersson said the agreements signed between Sweden and Hungary on Friday would serve both countries' interests.

The agreement on the expansion of Hungary's Gripen fleet will strengthen the security of Europe, too, he added.

He noted that Hungary's Gripen fighters were participating in the policing of Baltic airspace, close to Sweden.

He pointed to strong bilateral business sector ties and said the 180 Swedish-owned companies in Hungary employed around 170,000 people.

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