© Sputnik/ Anton Denisov
Serbia has announced that it will acquire two BUK surface-to-air missile systems and eight Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter aircraft from Belarus, following Croatia’s plans to obtain new military trucks, transport helicopters, fighter jets, self-propelled howitzers, and patrol vessels this year.
Minsk is also in talks with Belgrade about acquiring the S-300 missile system. Zoran Djordjevic, Serbia’s Defense Minister, told local media, "These will be the S-300 V and S-300 PG variants that are in [Minsk’s] possession," according to Defense News.Croatian Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic stated that the country’s military is seeking to acquire new fighter jets while phasing out Soviet-era military equipment constructed by NATO allies.
© AFP 2016/ LIONEL BONAVENTURE
In an interview with Vecernji List, Grabar-Kitarovic said, "I believe we will strengthen our cooperation with the US, considering that our armed forces must continue to shift to Western military technology. We postponed a decision on the purchase of supersonic military aircraft to the end of 2017 because that's how long we need to adopt a rational decision. But we have already adopted a decision to procure transport helicopters, most probably the American Black Hawks."Saab's JAS-39 Gripen and Lockheed Martin's F-16 are both in the running as top contenders for the new aircraft, and Israel’s Kfir, a variant of South Korea's T-50, and the French Mirage are considered as alternatives.
Whichever aircraft is chosen will replace Zagreb’s aging Cold War-era MiG-21 fighters.