Will Serbia be the owner of the next S-400 system in the European region?

Serbia, like Belarus, has maintained security relations with Russia, a rare move between former members of the Warsaw Pact and countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Serbia has been known to be modernizing its air defenses since the late 2010s, acquiring MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia and Belarus, as well as the Pantsir-S mobile air defense system from Russia.

Possessing a small air force, Serbia has shifted its focus to an effective ground-based air defense system.

Recent reports indicate that Serbia may be able to acquire the advanced S-400 air defense missile system from Russia.

These rumors about Serbia’s acquisition of the S-400 first surfaced when the system was used in exercises in Serbia in 2019.

At the time, the S-400s were stationed at the Batajnica base near Belgrade, Serbia and commenced live-fire exercises from the Slavia Shield.

The Serbian Ministry of Defense stated at the time that air defense maneuvers such as this would be conducted routinely, with the aim of strengthening cooperation in the Russian and Serbian air war.

The exercise demonstrated the ingenuity of the S-400 system, as 14 simulated Serbian aircraft acting as enemies were quickly destroyed by the S-400 system, which fired a total of 26 missiles.

The S-400 missile system has high mobility and multiple radars, giving it excellent situational awareness, even of stealth targets.

The system was developed to counter stealth aircraft and has a very long range of 400 km, twice that of similar western air defense assets.

However, it is not yet known how many S-400 systems Serbia will acquire, given the high cost of these systems. One S-400 regiment costs $500 million.

Written by rfrfx

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