WARSAW, Poland — Shortly after Croatia unveiled plans to acquire new fighter jets, patrol vessels, transport helos, self-propelled howitzers and military trucks this year, Serbia's government announced it will obtain eight Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters and two BUK surface-to-air missile systems from Belarus.
As the two countries are strengthening their military cooperation, the Serbian cabinet is also in talks with Belarus to acquire the S-300 missile systems, Serbia's Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic told local daily Politika following his return from an official visit to Minsk.
"These will be the S-300 V and S-300 PG variants that are in [Minsk's] possession," Djordjevic said.
As neighboring Croatia continues to replace its Soviet-built gear with weapons and military equipment made by NATO allies, Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic said that the country's government is also planning to obtain new fighter jets for its military. This confirms an announcement made by Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic last December when she told local daily Vecernji List that Zagreb aims to select a new fighter jet for its Air Force by the end of 2017.
The new aircraft is designed to replace Croatia's MiG-21 fighters, and the two leading contenders for the planned contract reportedly include Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Saab's JAS-39 Gripen. Considered alternatives comprise the French Mirage, Israel's Kfir, as well as a variant of South Korea's T-50.