Minister of Defence István Simicskó and Czech Defence Minister Karla Slechtová have announced that Hungary will manufacture small arms for the infantry.

The corresponding licence agreement was signed on Wednesday in Budapest by David Höfer, the CEO of Ceská Zbrojovka Export, and Roland Kránicz, the CEO of MoD ARZENÁL Co.

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István Simicskó said that based on a Czech licence, Hungary will initially only assemble the weapons, and then, from January 2019, the full production will start in Hungary. This will create some 200 new jobs, he added.

The minister noted that the development of the Hungarian Defence Forces started already last year, and a path of growth has been envisaged. Accordingly, they will be working as scheduled until 2026 so that the Hungarian Defence Forces become a combat-worthy, professional force.

István Simicskó stated that the announcement about the manufacturing of small arms in Hungary is of historic significance, which, as he underlined, marks another milestone in the development the Hungarian Defence Forces. As he said, “Hungarian defence industry is restarting.”

At the press briefing, István Simicskó said that during the revival of Hungarian defence industry, they intend to shape the defence industry capacities primarily in cooperation with the V4 countries, and to develop their military capabilities by multiplying each other’s strength.

The minister said that a working group of experts was also involved in making the decision to enter into an agreement with the Czech Republic on the manufacturing of small arms. The weapons produced under this licence have already been tested by soldiers and policemen.

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Czech Defence Minister Karla Slechtová said that the Czech Republic supports all forms of defence industry cooperation between the two countries. According to her, the contract now signed in Budapest is a significant one. The ten-year contract for the production of 200,000 firearms is worth EUR 100 million. The Czech armed forces will also receive some of the weapons manufactured in Hungary, she added.