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    Mikoyan MiG-29 jet fighter aircraft

    Croatia, Serbia Buying Advanced Weapons

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    Serbia has announced that it will acquire two BUK surface-to-air missile systems and eight Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter aircraft from Belarus, following Croatia’s plans to obtain new military trucks, transport helicopters, fighter jets, self-propelled howitzers, and patrol vessels this year.

    Minsk is also in talks with Belgrade about acquiring the S-300 missile system. Zoran Djordjevic, Serbia’s Defense Minister, told local media, "These will be the S-300 V and S-300 PG variants that are in [Minsk’s] possession," according to Defense News.

    Croatian Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic stated that the country’s military is seeking to acquire new fighter jets while phasing out Soviet-era military equipment constructed by NATO allies. 

    This was alluded to in December 2016, when Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic announced that the country’s Air Force would select a new fighter by the end of 2017.

    In an interview with Vecernji List, Grabar-Kitarovic said, "I believe we will strengthen our cooperation with the US, considering that our armed forces must continue to shift to Western military technology. We postponed a decision on the purchase of supersonic military aircraft to the end of 2017 because that's how long we need to adopt a rational decision. But we have already adopted a decision to procure transport helicopters, most probably the American Black Hawks."

    Saab's JAS-39 Gripen and Lockheed Martin's F-16 are both in the running as top contenders for the new aircraft, and Israel’s Kfir, a variant of South Korea's T-50, and the French Mirage are considered as alternatives.

    Whichever aircraft is chosen will replace Zagreb’s aging Cold War-era MiG-21 fighters.

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    Tags:
    fighter aircraft, Weapons, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Serbia, Croatia
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