WARSAW, Poland — The Serbian government is in talks with Russia over a potential acquisition of six Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets and an undisclosed amount of armored vehicles.

The discussed procurements are to intensify Serbia's military cooperation with Russia, which also offered to sell Belgrade Buk anti-aircraft missile systems on mobile launchers. However, Serbian officials said they cannot afford to purchase the systems, which cost about $60 million per battalion, a government source in Belgrade told local daily Vecernje Novosti.

The Serbian Ministry of Defence considers acquiring new aircraft as one of its top procurement priorities, as the Serbian air force's existing fighter jet fleet is expected to lose its operational capacity in the next two to three years. Should Belgrade decide to obtain the MiG-29s from Moscow, the aircraft are to be overhauled and modernized by the Russian defense industry under a deal estimated to be worth about $50 million.

The potential procurements were discussed during a recent closed-door meeting of the two countries' joint commission for military-technical cooperation. 

The MiG-29 is a twin-engine fighter jet manufactured by Russian state-owned producer RSK MiG.

The self-propelled Buk is made by Russia's Almaz-Antey, a state-run company based in Moscow. The system has a maximum strike range of 45 kilometers, and its tracked platform is enabled with a maximum speed of 65 kilometers per hour, according to data from the manufacturer.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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