Hungarian Defence Forces

The Hungarian Defence Forces (Hungarian: Magyar Honvédség) is the national defence force of Hungary. Since 2007, the Hungarian Armed Forces is under a unified command structure. The Ministry of Defence maintains the political and civil control over the army. A subordinate Joint Forces Command is coordinating and commanding the HDF corps. In 2020, the armed forces had 22,700 personnel on active duty. In 2019, military spending was $1.904 billion, about 1.22% of the country's GDP, well below the NATO target of 2%.[12] In 2016, the government adopted a resolution in which it pledged to increase defence spending to 2.0% of GDP and the number of active personnel to 37,650 by 2026.[9][13]

Hungarian Defence Forces
Magyar Honvédség
Emblem of the Hungarian Defence Forces
Flag of the Hungarian Defence Forces
Founded16 May 1848; 173 years ago (1848-05-16)[1][2]
Current form15 March 1990[3][4]
Service branches Hungarian Ground Forces
 Hungarian Air Force
PresidentJános Áder
Prime MinisterViktor Orbán
Minister of DefenceTibor Benkő
Chief of StaffLieutenant General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi
Military age18–50[5] years of age[6]
ConscriptionNo (suspended on 3 November 2004)[7]
Active personnel22,700[8]
Reserve personnel20,000[9]
Deployed personnel868 (2019)[10]
Budget$2.710 billion (2021)[11]
Percent of GDP1.66% (2021)[11]
Foreign suppliers Germany
 United States
 Czech Republic
 Soviet Union
Related articles
HistoryMilitary history of Hungary
RanksMilitary ranks of Hungary

Military service is voluntary, though conscription may occur in wartime. In a significant move for modernization, Hungary decided in 2001 to buy 14 JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft for about 800 million EUR. Hungary bought two used Airbus A319 and two Falcon 7X transport aircraft. Three C-17 III Globemaster transport aircraft are operating from Pápa Air Base under Hungarian nationality mark but are maintained by the NATO Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW). In 2017 Hungary signed a contract to buy 20 new Airbus military helicopters and ground attack bombs for the Gripens. Hungarian National Cyber Security Center was re-organized in 2016.[14]

In 2016, the Hungarian military has about 700 troops stationed in foreign countries as part of international peacekeeping forces, including 100 HDF troops in the NATO-led ISAF force in Afghanistan, 210 Hungarian soldiers in Kosovo under command of KFOR, and 160 troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hungary sent a 300 strong, logistics unit to Iraq in order to help the US occupation with armed transport convoys, though public opinion opposed the country's participation in the war. One soldier was killed in action by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

During the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the HDF drove Habsburg forces from the country in the Spring Campaign of 1849, but was defeated by an Austro-Russian offensive in the summer. The Royal Hungarian Honvéd was established in 1868. During World War I out of the eight million men mobilized by Austria-Hungary, over one million died. Conscription was introduced on a national basis in 1939. The peacetime strength of the Royal Hungarian Army grew to 80,000 men organized into seven corps commands.[15] During World War II the Hungarian Second Army was destroyed on the banks of the Don River in December 1942 in the Battle of Stalingrad. During the Socialist and the Warsaw Pact era (1947–1989), the entire 200,000 strong Southern Group of Forces was garrisoned in Hungary, complete with artillery, tank regiments, air force and missile troops with nuclear weapons.

As of 2016 Global Peace Index shows, Hungary is one of the world's most peaceful countries, placed 19th out of 163.