Serbian President Alexander Vucic confirmed the procurement of Pantsir S1M anti-aircraft systems from Russia during the Serbian military exposition held Wednesday.
Vucic talked about modernization efforts by the Serbian military. “We could not even dream about Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters, let alone MiG fighters. But when German Chancellor Angela Merkel was visiting, she was escorted by seven MiG-29 aircraft. Now, we have a total of 14 of those jets," he said, praising Russian military equipment.
“We have procured the new Pantsir S1M…," Vucic said, immediately jokingly correcting himself: "Oh, what am telling you publicly!" He added, “It fires 5,000 30-mm rounds per minute. It can mow down mountains!”
Vucic announced the Pantsir contract in October 2019 during the Slavic Shield-2019 joint military exercises between the two countries. Russian S-400 missile systems and Pantsir-S systems were deployed in Serbia during the drills, marking the first deployment of the systems in exercises held outside Russia.
On Wednesday, Vucic also disclosed that a shipment of the new Kornet anti-tank missile launchers will arrive in Serbia in 2021, Russian government-owned TASS reported.
Russia has previously delivered 30 T-72MS tanks and 30 BRDM-2MS armored personnel carriers to Serbia, which amounted to €75 million. Between 2018 and February 2020, Serbia has received 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.