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    Since 2016, EUR 2 BILLION for defence

    The modernization of the Serbian Army with new technology will exceed the costs of two billion euros, according to the money spent so far since 2016 and the plan for next year, reports the Balkan Security Network portal.

    „After a long series of drought years with modest procurement costs for the Serbian Army, a rapid process of modernization was launched in December 2016. In the period until 2020, 977.38 million euros were spent according to the annual reports of the budget for the economic classification related to technology,“ the text reads.

    The portal reports that this is classification 512, which refers to the procurement of new war equipment, means of communication, defence systems for intelligence and security affairs and modernization and general overhaul of weapons.

    „High investments in the Serbian Army started at the end of 2016. A program was agreed with Russia for the receipt of six MiG-29 planes from a donation, works on them and extension of the lifespan of four planes inherited from the SFRY. The purchase of nine Airbus H145M helicopters was agreed upon and paid for in advance, of which the first six are allocated to the Serbian Army and three to the police. Later, the police received one more, and the army one less,“ it is stated.

    It is recalled that in 2017, purchases increased to 63.4 million, and in 2018 they increased dramatically to 220.45 million euros.

    „It is certain that at that time some of the big business deals had to be paid for in advance, such as the purchase of four Mi-35M and three Mi-17V-5 helicopters from Russia, which arrived in the autumn of 2019, and the Pantsir-S1E air defence system, which was received in early 2020. A new big leap was recorded in 2019 with a cost of EUR 300.48 million for extensive modernization. Extensive MiG-29 modernization work was contracted that year, including the purchase of guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, Chinese CH-92A drones and the FK-3 air defence missile system, and the French Mistral 3+ short-range air defence system, but these are long-term programs that will be paid from multi-year budgets,“ it is added.

    Izvor: Beta

    Foto: MoD

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