Hungary's ministry of defence will later this month issue a 28 billion forint ($135 million)tender to acquire a package of air-to-air and air-to-surface armaments for its future fleet of 14 Saab/BAE Systems Gripen multirole fighter aircraft.

A selection is expected by mid-year, with the tender to be issued to a number of companies in Israel, Sweden and the USA, according to a report from Hungary's national MTI news agency.

Hungary will take delivery of 14 Gripens from early 2006 under a 15-year lease-to-buy agreement concluded early last year with Sweden's Defence Materiel Administration and Gripen International.

The defence ministry early this month received approval to acquire a secondhand Antonov An-26 transport from Ukraine to support its peacekeeping activities in Iraq. To augment the Hungarian air force's fleet of four An-26s, the new aircraft will be acquired under a deal worth 600 million forints.

Source: Flight International