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Drones can wait as modernising Serbia looks to France for fighters

20th April 2022 - 11:45 GMT | by Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo in Milan

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The Serbian Air Force held a farewell ceremony for its MiG-21s in 2021. (Photo: Serbian MoD)

As Serbia was already taking steps to expand and modernise its air force before the Ukraine war, has how the conflict altered its defence policy and which security partners is it now looking towards?

In December 2021, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić affirmed to local media that ‘in a few months, Serbia will no longer be the easy target it was once was’.

In this respect, the military aviation capabilities of the Serbian Armed Forces have been actively expanded — and Belgrade was recently confirmed to be negotiating with French manufacturer Dassault for Rafale multirole fighter aircraft to replace its ageing Soviet-era MiG-21s and MiG-29s.

Peter Voinovich, founder and editor-in-chief of Serbian aviation news portal TangoSix, said that negotiations began at the 2021 Dubai Airshow, ‘with Serbia now looking to maintain two combat

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