Hungary buy new cargo aircraft
Hungary plans to buy cargo aircraft to replace the ageing An-26 fleet.

Hungary is currently pushing ahead its military modernization program which began 12 years ago with the lease of 14 Gripen fighter jets to replace the MiG-29 fleet. Over the past year, the nation has purchased second-hand A319 and Falcon 7x aircraft for VIP and troops transport and new Airbus H145M and H225M helicopters equipped with advanced weapons management system. Today the only aircraft left without a substitute in the fleet of the Hungarian Armed Forces is the An-26 airlifter.

According to information received from our local source, Hungary is looking into a new transport plane to replace the old cargo plane. The plan was also confirmed by Chief of Staff Tibor Benkő who said in a recent interview that the nation intends to purchase a refurbished or new aircraft designed for military purposes and equipped with a rear loading ramp.

Benkő did not mention the types of aircraft they are evaluating, but according to our source, the Italian Leonardo C-27J and the Brazilian Embraer KC-390 are at the top of the list. It is difficult to say which Hungary will choose, they have different strengths. The Brazilian has greater speed and a 20% higher load capacity, while the Spartan boasts more proven operational capabilities and a larger community of operators that foster interaction between partners. According to the latest data, their price is very similar, around 55 million dollars each.

Although to date the safest choice would be the C-27J as the KC-390 is a very young project, we believe Budapest could move to the Embraer platform due to the lower cost (same price as the C-27J, but with higher tonnage). Price has always made a lot of difference in the Hungarian defense business.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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