Minister visits aviation fighter units in Batajnica
First Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Aleksandar Vucic visited the members of the 204th Air Force Brigade of the Army of Serbia engaged on duty in the fighter unit and aviation search and rescue crew.
After a 30 min briefing during which the minister was familiariyed with the regular tasks of the teams on duty and for search and rescue crews of the air force, Minister Vucic attended the presentation of skills and operational capabilities of pilots and mechanics on duty of a pair of MiG 21, which instead of scheduled five minutes from alert to takeoff spent only 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Expressing satisfaction with the high level of training and preparedness, Minister Vucic said that the Serbian Army Air Forces in the future will be even better equipped and more operational.
- The upcoming talks, first of the president of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, and then my meeting with the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, shall be focus exactly on what our air force needs in the future. We will discuss the ways to procure multi-purpose combat aircrafts and its importance for the performance of those tasks which th4e air force performs in peacetime too, when it comes to protecting the airspace over Serbia. Let us remember in 1999 when we had a flock of planes over our country, when just one of our MiG 29 would take off ready to respond the NATO air crafts would disperse over a very large area in order to avoid it. More of these multi-purpose combat aircraft are the best means for preventing attempts of aggression against our country which would enable us to perform many tasks and airspace protection in peace. It is therefore important to carry out the modernization of our Air Force, and also we want our Air Force Institute "Moma Stanojlovi" to be able to maintain aircrafts, which would become a regional center for air craft maintenance and overhaul. This will also be part of the talks with Russia, the minister said Vucic.
We have the know-how, we can and we will, Vucuic added, reiterating that Serbia will not threaten anyone, but in order to maintain peace, it must be supplied with enough means to still have a strong army that can deter possible enemies from attacking our country.
Responding to questions from journalists, Minister Vucic remarked that MiG-29 is already possessed by some NATO member states, so it is no surprise or secret that Serbia wants it too.
- Of course, it will be a credit arrangement the precise provisions of which will be known soon, said Minister Vucic, explaining that Serbia wants to procure sufficient quantity of spare parts for the planes, which would allow for the regular maintenance of planes and their operational use.
Pointing out that in the future more weapons factories would get serious financial injection, and some will get new equipment which will enable the improvement of the overall production technology, Minister Vucic remarked that it will contribute to the overall sales of ammunition we produce.
- All investments in the military have an economic character, and not just for defense, even though it is the most important. I do not think about the war, of course, we cannot ignore protection of our country, but we insist on the economic importance of investing in the army as this will strengthen our entire economy, said Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vucic.