Serbian Air Force and Air Defense commander Major General Dusko Zarkovic told Belgrade daily Politika that he expects Russian Mi-35 helicopter gunships by the end of the year in order to form a squadron of state of the art combat helicopters.
“Those helicopters will be part of a helicopter combat squadron deployed at the Morava airport outside Kraljevo. Four helicopters might not sound like much but their fire power will make a significant contribution to the capabilities of airborne fire support units,” the general said.
Speaking about MiG-29 fighters, the general said they will come in three stages, the final one being their upgrade. “The first stage is completed, the second stage is underway and their modernization starts in the last quarters of this year. Once that is finished, the MiG-29s will be at the same level as the latest aircraft in the world and they will provide complete control and protection of the sovereignty and air space of Serbia and protect Army of Serbia (VS) forces in operations,” Zarkovic said.
He said air defense forces were last upgraded with new equipment in the mid-1980s with the Soviet Kub and Neva missile systems. “Although we have modernized the existing systems in the meantime, we need to buy new ones with far better combat capabilities,” General Zarkovic said.