A new era dawns for the Hungarian defence industry in cooperation with Rheinmetall

 29. 10. 2021      category: Events
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Defence programmes are not only about enhancing a nation’s security. They are also about boosting local industry, building knowledge, and bringing benefits to local players, whether they be large companies or the individuals who work for them. For this reason, Rheinmetall emphasises local production in all its defence programmes, including for the Lynx KF41, the innovative infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) which is a leading contender for the Czech Republic’s IFV renewal programme.

The Hungarian Example – One Year On

The benefits which choosing the Lynx brings to the local economy are already on display in Hungary, a nation focusing strongly on the renewal of its domestic defence industry capabilities. With Hungary’s Lynx procurement agreed only a year ago, the pace of Rheinmetall’s investments into the nation’s military industry is truly impressive. 

IMG_0941Picture: With Hungary’s Lynx procurement agreed only a year ago, the pace of Rheinmetall’s investments into the nation’s military industry is truly impressive. | Rheinmetall

The construction of a major new production facility for the Hungarian Lynx deal is taking place at speed in order to ensure maximum benefits for the local economy. A ceremony was recently held at the new Lynx plant in Zalaegerszeg, western Hungary, in which a military helicopter lifted a special bouquet, bearing Hungarian and German national colours, onto the roof to celebrate the structure reaching its highest point.

The factory in Zalaegerszeg will be among the most modern military factories in Europe and will create around 500 jobs. László Palkovics, Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology, described the factory – and the Lynx IFV programme as a whole – as the flagship project of the development of the Hungarian defence industry and army, within the country’s Zrinyi 2026 force development programme.

Hungary is buying 218 Lynxes, 176 of which will be produced at the new plant in Zalaegerszeg. The first models will be produced at Rheinmetall’s existing factory in Germany, where future Hungarian Lynx manufacturers will also be trained. Rheinmetall was chosen as the provider of the Hungarian army’s next-generation IFV because of its commitment to bringing high economic added value to the domestic economy, complementing the impressive level of innovation embodied in the Lynx.

IMG_0969Picture: Hungary is buying 218 Lynxes, 176 of which will be produced at the new plant in Zalaegerszeg. | Rheinmetall

“Hungary’s choice of the Lynx showed an admirable degree of consideration for the future of the country’s defence industry,” said Oliver Mittelsdorf, Senior Vice President Sales at Rheinmetall. “This is partly because of the Lynx’s innovative battlefield capability resulting from its high level of modularity and adaptability. But it is also because of the economic advantages that accrue from procuring the Lynx: job creation, the establishment of local industrial partnerships, and the potential for greater cooperation in the field of research and development.”

The Lynx and beyond

And Rheinmetall’s partnership with Hungary goes further still. Hungary and Rheinmetall have announced their intention to include gun based air defence systems as well as digitalisation and simulation topics into the scope of their partnership.  

Furthermore, Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division is in negotiations with Hungary to widen the scope of the Joint Venture to include wheeled vehicles and further expand the research and development capabilities at the new plant in Zalaegerszeg. 

At the same time, Rheinmetall’s Weapon and Ammunition Division is committed to bring latest ammunition technologies to the country and in addition to this, a future cooperation in the field of weapon technologies that will include research and development activities in Hungary is currently being worked out. 

Rheinmetall Canada will meanwhile supply state-of-the-art radar systems for the country. Shipment of the new systems is expected to start in 2022 and run through to the end of 2027. Hungary is Rheinmetall Canada’s most important export customer in the field of radar systems integration, with the new active, advanced 3D systems supplied by the company to be made by Rheinmetall’s partner ELTA, a subsidiary of IAI.

Rheinmetall’s bid to supply Lynx IFVs for the Czech armed forces stands out due to a similar emphasis on local production and industrial cooperation from the German company. Rheinmetall has already established partnerships with a range of Czech companies for the supply of various components and systems for the domestic Lynx programme. By incorporating these companies into its global supply chain, Rheinmetall intends to bring economic benefits to the Czech Republic going above and beyond the requirements of the Czech Ministry of Defence.

PEZ_6497Picture: Rheinmetall’s bid to supply Lynx IFVs for the Czech armed forces stands out due to a similar emphasis on local production and industrial cooperation from the German company. | Rheinmetall

“Hungary has set a precedent for the Lynx’s participation in IFV programmes around the world, including in the Czech Republic,” said Oliver Mittelsdorf. “By engaging local industrial players and basing significant elements of the production programme in the partner country, we can build long-term relationships that grow and flourish. Such partnerships result in ever-greater economic benefits, and an ever-expanding horizon of business opportunities. By choosing the Lynx, the Czech Republic would open up an exciting world of possibilities for local businesses.”

 Author: Martin Šiška