Serbia is in talks with Russia on buying six Mil Mi-17 multipurpose helicopters and setting up a helicopter repair center, Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said in a live broadcast of the country’s national television on Thursday.
“In accordance with our needs and financial possibilities, talks have been started with the Russian side on purchasing up to six Mi-17 multipurpose helicopters. This would allow us to renew our aircraft fleet,” he said.
“Importantly, we will continue working on establishing a helicopter center to repair rotorcraft locally. The Moma Stanojlovic military aircraft enterprise in Batajnica is already repairing two helicopters for Macedonia,” he said.
Responding to a question about the purchase of Russian-made S-300 air defense missile systems, the defense minister said it was early to speak about this as serious countries announce such moves “when it is time for these events to happen.”
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic earlier told TASS that Belgrade was going to purchase at least six military and transport helicopters, and also air defense missile systems. Serbian specialists are negotiating this issue with Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport.
In October, the Serbian Air Force received six Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets delivered by Russia as military and technical assistance.
Apart from MiG-29 aircraft, Serbia will get for free 30 T-72 tanks and 30 BRDM-2 reconnaissance and patrol combat vehicles from Russia. Serbia is also in talks on getting Russia’s Buk-M1 and Buk-M2 air defense missile systems and Tunguska surface-to-air missile/gun complexes.