Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Croatia, Serbia Buying Advanced Weapons

Mikoyan MiG-29 jet fighter aircraft

© 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.
Croatian army soldiers are lined up during the annual military parade in Karlovac, some 50 kilometers from capital Zagreb
This was alluded to in December 2016, when Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic announced that the country’s Air Force would select a new fighter by the end of 2017.
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.

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