Serbia explores purchase of 12 Dassault Rafale fighter jets

By Defence Industry Europe

Serbia is in discussions with French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation for the acquisition of 12 Rafale multipurpose fighter jets. This development was confirmed by the office of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic following a series of high-level talks.

 

During his two-day visit to France on April 8-9, President Vucic engaged in strategic discussions with Dassault Aviation, signaling a deep interest in not only enhancing Serbia’s military assets but also exploring broader avenues of cooperation between Serbia and France. “We had a meeting with the Dassault group on Rafale but also on other types of cooperation. We are going to sign a contract which will significantly improve the safety of our country,” Vucic stated, highlighting the importance of this potential acquisition for Serbia’s national security.

The Serbian President also held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, focusing on the strategic partnership between the two nations across various sectors, including defence, energy, and high technology. These discussions underscore the multifaceted relationship between Serbia and France, aiming to foster deeper cooperation beyond the military sphere.

 

Defence

 

Serbia’s interest in the Rafale jets is not new. The country has been contemplating this purchase for over two years, with initial discussions revolving around the acquisition of six jets, a number that has now doubled. The shift towards a larger fleet reflects Serbia’s commitment to modernizing its air force, which currently relies on aging Soviet-made MiG-21 and MiG-29 fighters, along with older Yugoslav combat aircraft.

The move comes in the wake of Croatia’s acquisition of 12 used Rafale jets from France in November 2021, which prompted Vucic to hint at Serbia’s potential interest in bolstering its own air force capabilities with the French-manufactured jets.

 

 

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