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King of the Skies: Russia Starts Delivering MiG-29 Warplanes to Serbia

© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov / Go to the photo bankMiG-29 multipurpose fighter aircraft of the Swifts aerobatic team participate in an airshow at the Kubinka air base during the international military-technical forum ARMY-2016. (File)
MiG-29 multipurpose fighter aircraft of the Swifts aerobatic team participate in an airshow at the Kubinka air base during the international military-technical forum ARMY-2016. (File) - Sputnik International
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On Monday, Russia has started the first delivery of six Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets to Serbia, a source in the sphere of military-technical cooperation told Sputnik.

The first An-124 military transport aircraft, loaded with disassembled Russian Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets, was scheduled to take off from Tretyakovo airport in the Moscow Region, which is operated by Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, at noon on Monday.

All six fighter jets, which Russia is handing over to Serbia as military-technical assistance, should be delivered by October 6, the source specified.

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At the end of December 2016, then-Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu agreed on the gratuitous delivery of six Mikoyan MiG-29 multipurpose fighter jets, 30 T-72s tanks and 30 BRDM-2 armored reconnaissance vehicles to the Serbian Defense Forces.

Since then, the two countries have issued different delivery timeframes, including by this year-end. The source has now told Sputnik that the aircraft are set to be first demonstrated on October 20, during a national military parade, which will mark the anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade in the Second World War.

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The country's defense forces will then present Serbian Air and Air Defense Force military pilots who have undergone additional training in Russia. The source, however, has not specified the date of the first flight. 

The assembling of the fighter jets will be done with the assistance of Russian experts.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has been invited to the parade. Russian aerobatic performance group Strizhi, the Swifts, may also take part in the celebrations. 

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