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Hungary to get Israeli Iron Dome

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Hungary – As the conservative Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet reported on Monday, 21 November, Hungarian Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky has announced that the Hungarian army will soon be equipped with a

“world-class Israeli radar system capable of detecting and tracking air and artillery targets”.

The week before, Szalay-Bobrovniczky had accompanied President Katalin Novák on her official visit to Israel and met with his Israeli counterpart, Benny Gantz.

As Mandiner wrote on its website on 22 November, each ELM-2084 “anti-aircraft reconnaissance and artillery system” – currently used by Israel to protect itself from Hamas missile attacks – will be able to

protect “an area of 150 square kilometres”.

This would allow the entire territory of Hungary to be covered, and would avoid incidents such as the one that occurred on 15 November in eastern Poland, when a Ukrainian air defence missile struck a grain warehouse, killing two people.

Reporting on Katalin Novák’s trip to Israel, The Hungarian Conservative noted that this latest development is not something completely new, as “in December 2020, General Ferenc Korom, then commander of the Hungarian Defence Forces, and Stéphane Oehrli, president and CEO of Rheinmetall Canada Inc. signed a contract for the acquisition of eleven ELM-2084 air surveillance, air defence and artillery reconnaissance radars as part of Hungary’s Zrínyi 2026 defence programme. The equipment, which includes Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar technology from Israel’s IAI ELTA, will replace Hungary’s old Soviet P-37, PRV-17, and SZT-68U radars. 

It all looks like a perfect illustration of what President Katalin Novák said on 17 November in Jerusalem after her meeting with her Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog: “The alliance of Hungary and Israel is unshakeable.