Hungary explores defense, energy cooperation with Türkiye
Hungary is interested in Türkiye-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and is looking into cooperation opportunities in the field, as well as several other fields such as energy, the Eastern European nation’s Technology and Industry Minister Laszlo Palkovics said
He was speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) in the Turkish capital Ankara where he arrived Tuesday for an official visit.
The Hungarian minister met with his Turkish counterpart, Mustafa Varank, and the two discussed ways of enhancing bilateral industry and technology cooperation.
“Our relations are already in a good state. We are discussing ways to explore new cooperation opportunities,” Palkovics said.
Commenting on Hungary-Türkiye defense industry cooperation, he said that his country has decided to purchase Turkish defense industry products.
The country has already decided to buy armored personnel carriers (APCs) from a prominent company, Palkovics said and added that the nations also signed an agreement to produce such vehicles in Hungary.
Stating that assembly will be done in the first stage of joint production and production will be carried out in the second stage, Palkovics said: “We talked about other collaborations in the field of the defense industry. Of course, one of them is Turkish UAVs. These vehicles produced by Turkey showed that there is a new method on the battlefield.”
Previously, 40 tactical wheeled armored vehicles named Gidran were produced in Türkiye and delivered to the Hungarian Armed Forces in March.
Another 100 were to be produced in Hungary, the nation’s Defense Ministry Undersecretary Gaspar Maroth said at the time.
Gidran is the nickname for Turkish company Nurol Makina’s Ejder Yalçın 4×4 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, which are being produced under license.
Palkovics also explained that there is a test center for unmanned vehicles in his country, pointing out that Turkish companies can use these places for cooperation.
Emphasizing that the Ministry of Defense made the necessary evaluations regarding the Bayraktar UAVs produced by the Turkish drone magnate Baykar, Palkovics said, “It is a cheaper but more effective technology than others.”
Underlining that they care not only about purchasing a product but also about the production of that product in Hungary, Palkovics said: “Especially with the Russia-Ukraine war, the defense industry capacity of Europe, particularly Germany, seems low. The situation is changing. Capacity building plays an important role in this area.”
The minister went on to say that the contribution of Turkish companies to Hungary’s energy transformation was one of the issues discussed during his visit to Turkey, saying: “Currently, Europe’s energy system is a gas-centered system. The price of electricity is determined by gas and gas-based systems. We need to change that.”
Palkovics stated that they have implemented the Energy Transformation Plan covering the 2022-2050 period and that the country plans to switch to renewable energy sources and other energy sources as much as possible.
Explaining that Hungary will increase the energy produced from solar energy from 3 gigawatts to 8 gigawatts at the end of next year, Palkovics said that this number will increase to 20 to 24 gigawatts with the production of solar energy equipment in Hungary.
Noting that they will turn to resources such as biogas, biomethane and biomass, Palkovics stated that with investments in geothermal and wind energy, 16 billion euros ($16.22 billion) will be invested in all other energy resources in the next 10 years.
The Hungarian minister reiterated that an agreement was signed between Türkiye, Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary for railway transportation.
With this agreement, he said the aim is to get a larger share from the railway trade between China and Europe.
“Due to the conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, the China-Europe railway may pass through Turkey. A train passing under the Bosporus can reach the heart of Europe by coming to Hungary via Bulgaria and Serbia.”
Palkovics stated that the members of the Organization of Turkic States can also play a role in the solution of the energy crisis in Europe, and said: “As the cargo trains from China cannot use the Russia-Ukraine route at the moment, the Central Asian states have gained even more importance. This route passes entirely through the Turkic states and reaches European countries. Energy transportation should also be done on this route,” he said.