On October 25th, Serbia announced that it would purchase a Pantsir-S1 air defense system, to bolster its defenses.
Serbian Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin, who observed the exercises, said that the Russian Pantsir-S1 complex is to become a part of the Serbian army and will guarantee long-term peace in the region.
“Thanks to the implementation of the agreement on military-technical cooperation, as well as thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Minister of defense of Russia, Sergey Shoigu and every member of our army who was trained on the Pantsir-S system, we can say that we feel more confident and safer”, the Serbian Defense minister said.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, too, said that the country had ordered a Pantsir-S1 and he would go see the S-400. Vucic further said that Serbia would love to have an S-400 system, or even 2, but couldn’t afford them.
“Today we had a unique opportunity to see how the S-400 and Pantsir-S function. As you know, we bought one Pantsir-S and soon expect it in our country. As for the S-400, if we had two such systems, no one would ever fly to Serbia. When people ask, would we like S-400, we would like it immediately, only if the Russians just left it here, because we cannot otherwise afford the S-400,” said Vucic, adding that this is a complex, “which guarantees security for your people and country for generations to come, and you having raised hope that Serbia will one day be able to afford such a complex,” he added.
The decision was made after a joint exercise with Russia, in which a Pantsir-S1 and a S-400 missile defense system were delivered to Serbia to take part in the drill.
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced deployment of a battalion of S-400 and a battery of Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile system to Serbia’s Batajnica air base to take part in the second stage (October 23-29) of Slavic Shield-2019 joint military exercise.
“The Russian air defense units with S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile/gun launchers have been airlifted by Russian military transport planes to the territory of Serbia to take part in the second stage of the Slavic Shield-2019 joint Russian-Serbian air defense exercise,” the ministry said.
Serbia’s Defence Ministry said the exercises were aimed to simulate the “use of a joint (combat) group…in defending… against enemy reconnaissance and offensive actions”.
“Apart from anti-aircraft missile systems in use in the Serbian army, missile systems that are in use by the Russian Air Force will also be used” in the live-fire exercise set to run until October 29th, it said in a statement.
Russian-Serbian air defense exercises Slavic shield-2019 are held for the first time and consist of two stages. The first was held in September this year in the Astrakhan region on the basis of the Center for Combat Training and Combat Use of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
In the second stage of the joint exercises, the units of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system and the Pantsirr-S anti-aircraft system, as well as the Neva-M1T and KUB-M anti-aircraft missile systems of the air force and anti-aircraft took part in drills exercising the aerial defense of Serbia.
Slavic Shield 2019 essentially tested out the interaction between the Russian and Serbian air forces and the countries’ air defense.
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