Under the agreement, Hungary and Thales will launch joint research and development projects, with the company providing training for Hungarian space industry experts, helping Hungarian companies to participate in the world’s biggest satellite programmes, the foreign ministry cited Szijjarto as saying.

Thales Alenia Space supplies around half the equipment used on the International Space Station (ISS), and two out of three aircraft in the world use Thales equipment, Szijjarto said.

The minister said it was crucial to continue developing the space industry in Hungary, arguing that it represented a breakout point for the Hungarian economy.

The expansion of Hungary’s space programme will help to speed up the country’s economic recovery and maintain long-term growth, Szijjarto said.