The countries of the European Union have set a goal of creating a new rotary wing family by 2040. Hungary will be an integral part of this project, as the Airbus Helicopters Hungary manufacturer of spare parts industry, which has been under construction in Gyula since December, responded positively to the invitation. István Lepsényi, Ministerial Commissioner of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM), emphasised at the bouquet ceremony held in Gyula on 6 May 2021 that the purpose of building the 13,000-square-meter factory worth HUF 25 billion was to take the first steps to lay the foundations of the Hungarian aviation industry. Gáspár Maróth, the Government Commissioner responsible for Defense Developments, agreed that with this project, Hungary was “invited to the elite club of European countries, whose goal is no less than to develop a new European military helicopter family by 2040”.
What exactly is this project?
The €22 million project is funded by the European Defense Fund (EDF), which aims to provide the financial backing for cross-border investment in cutting-edge and fully interoperable technologies and equipment.
The pan-European helicopter development plan is still in its early phase, in which the partners will examine the development objectives and the tools needed to achieve the set goals. The project aims to create ground-breaking offensive and defensive capabilities, including laser offensive and defensive systems, computer centres for controlling reconnaissance and attack drones, and drives capable of achieving significantly higher speeds and ranges.
How should we envisage this project, why is this development significant?
The development led by these European countries is similar to the Future Vertical Lift project, which is now being actively researched in the United States. Some of the technical elements of this next-generation helicopter family plan, including the engine, electronics or defense systems, are identical to the EDF-funded development. Thus, the earliest date for both developments is set for 2040 and their goal is to develop a fast and easy-to-operate, unmanned next-generation military helicopter family with significantly greater range and protection.
The Airbus Helicopters Hungary manufacturer of spare parts industry in Gyula not only “puts Hungarian companies and suppliers in a better position, develops the county’s vocational training, university education, and R&D programme, attracts new investments to the region, which strengthens the economic development of the region and Hungary”, but enables Hungary’s participation in such a large-scale European defense and development project. This opportunity provides many exceptional opportunities for Hungarian professionals and decision-makers to gain experience in the field of defense and increases Hungary’s prestige in Europe.