In his speech to mark the swearing in of people undertaking voluntary military service, as well as the official delivery of LYNX combat vehicles, the Prime Minister highlighted: It is time to revive our military spirit, because peoples that are incapable of doing so “are certain to fail in the future”. There are nations that have already begun preparations, and “we cannot fall behind in this either”, Viktor Orbán declared.
“We cannot stick our heads in the sand like ostriches”, because if things continue like this the sanctions will shake Europe, in addition to which it seems that we must prepare for a drawn-out war, he emphasised. “Almost 250 young people who are undertaking voluntary military service have sworn their oaths today, which is reason enough for joy in itself, although we need a few more battalions like this. But in addition the LYNX combat vehicles are now also entering service, and accordingly we can also celebrate one of the important milestones in military development”, he pointed out.
“For centuries, the Hungarian nation was famous for its valour and military achievements; it is a true military nation, but the Hungarians are made so that if there is no direct threat, their strength is split among their various minor difficulties, meaning we are only able to perform truly well if there is a problem that needs solving”, he stated.
He said that in his opinion we are living at a time in which we have good reason to recognise major dangers at the country’s borders, such as the war and the fact that weapons are flowing to the front from the West. “In addition, illegal migrants are assaulting our borders from the south with their armed groups”, he pointed out.
“Earlier, our primary task was to reorganise the Hungarian state, and the economy has now recovered its deficit, crime has been heavily reduced, public safety has been restored, and the public administration system has been overhauled, but we still owe a debt when it comes to the Hungarian military and soldiers”, Viktor Orbán reminded those present.
“We need soldiers who want to serve their country, and effective, modern weapons, and for this reason we are restoring the prestige of the Hungarian Defence Force and are building a modern defence industry”, he highlighted. The Hungarian soldier is an “outstanding member of our nation”, and accordingly every soldier deserves the respect of the Hungarian people, he declared.
“We want there to be free passage between civil life and military service, and for this reason we have modernised the institution of voluntary military service” he stated. “People who undertake voluntary military service represent the bridge between civilians and the army, because they are the ones who people meet the most often”, he said. “We will be launching new recruitment campaigns beginning in December”, he noted.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that the LYNX combat vehicles are also entering service now. “We are also bringing the defence industry to Hungary, and have already taken several steps in the interests of the development of the defence industry”, he stated.
At the event, Minister of Defence Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky emphasised: “The two most important pillars of military development, man and technology, are present here together today”. “The newly delivered combat vehicles are enhancing the Hungarian Defence Force with some of the most modern equipment available”, he said.
In his speech, Commander of the Hungarian Defence Force (HDF) Lieutenant-general Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi welcomed the fact that the government is providing the conditions and funding required by the HDF, and that there are plants and investors such as Rheinmetall who are providing 21st century technology to the army. He also expressed his gratitude to those who are undertaking voluntary military service.
Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall AG, manufacturer of the combat vehicles, spoke about how beneficial it is that Hungary has a government that is taking care of the country’s military. “When I look at these soldiers, I can see their commitment and determination, and that they are prepared to defend their country, Europe and NATO”, he declared. “The Hungarian Defence Force is now receiving the best defence, true state-of-the-art technology”, he added.
The LYNX combat vehicles were on display at the swearing in ceremony. According to the Ministry of Defence, 46 of these vehicles will be delivered by 2023, followed by a further 172 until 2029, the latter of which will already be manufactured in Hungary. The LYNX combat vehicles are equipped with autocannons and anti-tank missiles, amongst others.
“People reporting for voluntary military service take part in a six-month training course, which may be extended by a further six months on one occasion. During this period, they receive a salary and various concessions, as well as receiving additional points towards higher education admission. The training courses are being held at 17 locations around the country; some 250 young people undertaking voluntary military service took their oaths at the Petőfi barracks on Saturday”, the Ministry said in a statement.