Serbia will strengthen its air force with Russian planes and European helicopters

The Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, stated that Serbian authorities plan to purchase aircraft from the Russian Federation and helicopters from the European Union in 2017, thus strengthening its air force. Serbia has formed an agreement with Russia that includes six previously donated MiG-29 fighter jets, which have served the Serbian Air Force for two years. Serbia will fund a major overhaul of these fighters, Reuters reported.

According to Vučić, the total cost of the deal will be announced on the eve of his visit to Moscow for negotiations with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev. The visit is scheduled for next week.

“We plan to bring MiG-29 fighter jets to Serbia by March in order to extend their service life up to 14 years,” the Prime Minister said. Serbia’s 2017 military budget was set at 61 billion dinars or 494 million Euros, an amount equal to 1.39% of the country’s GDP.

On June 28, Vučić announced the Serbia’s intentions to purchase four MiG-29 fighter jets for approximately 260 million Euros. So far, only two Russian Mi-17 transport helicopters have been purchased for 25 million Euros. The Prime Minister noted that Serbia plans to purchase nine more Airbus helicopters and get four free helicopters out of the deal. Vučić did not specify the types of helicopters, purchase terms or the cost of the deal.

According to several media outlets, Serbia can acquire Super Puma H215 helicopters manufactured by Airbus. As previously reported, Russia is ready to transfer six MiG-29 fighter jets and several armored vehicles to Serbia.

  Serbia, Russia, Europe, Aircraft