BELGRADE, September 15. /TASS/. Serbian President Alexander Vucic praised the quality of Russian weapons and announced the procurement of the Pantsir-S1M air defense system while examining the Serbian military exposition, dedicated to the Day of Unity, Freedom and National Flag of Serbia.
"Previously, we could not even dream about it, neither Mi-17 nor Mi-35 [helicopters], let alone the MiG [planes]. Yet, when [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel was visiting, she was escorted by seven Mig-29 planes, and we have a total of 14 of those [now]," he said, praising the upgraded Serbian armed forces equipment.
"When you have Pantsir [air defense systems] - and we have procured the new Pantsir M1 [Pantsir-S1M - TASS]…," Vucic said, immediately jokingly correcting himself: "Oh, what am telling you [publicly]!"
"The new Pantsir [system] is 5,000 30-mm rounds shot per minute. It can mow down mountains!" the Serbian President said.
He also disclosed that a shipment of the new Kornet anti-tank missile launchers will arrive in Serbia before the end of this year.
Serbian president also praised the outstanding capabilities of the Russian-made Mi-35 helicopter during his visit to the military exposition.
"A fantastic weapon," Vucic said, speaking to Serbian Chief of Staff Milan Mojsilovic. He jokingly noted that Mojsilovic, a tankman himself, will have a hard time admitting the Mi-35’s advantage over any tank.
Earlier, Russia shipped 30 T-72MS tanks and 30 BRDM-2MS armored personnel carriers to Serbia, which amounted to 75 million euros. Then-Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin told TASS at the moment that the military-technical cooperation between Belgrade and Moscow had significantly improved the Serbian Army’s combat readiness. In 2019, Russia and Serbia held 96 joint exercises, Vulin said, adding that the Serbian fighter aviation was once again capable to defend the Serbian sky, while Pantsir-S1 systems reinforced the country’s air defense.
Between 2018 and February 2020, Russia shipped 4 Mi-35M helicopters, 6 MiG-29 planes, 10 BRDM-2 armored personnel carriers, 3 Mi-17V-5 transport helicopters, along with the Pantsir-S1s.