BARANOVICHI, 25 February (BelTA) – A solemn ceremony was held in Baranovichi, Brest Oblast on 25 February to hand over four MiG-29 aircraft from the Belarusian army to the Serbian one. The aircraft were handed over to Serbia as part of military technical aid, BelTA has learned.
Andrei Fedin, Head of the Central Office for Planning and Coordination of Technical Support, First Deputy Chief of Armament of the Belarusian army, noted: “Belarus-Serbia contacts develop vigorously. The two defense ministries share their best practices in a broad spectrum of activities. The Belarusian military are ready to help bolster the defensive capability of the brotherly country of Serbia. We are handing over the MiG-29 aircraft and wish they would get off the ground only during exercises and festivities.”
Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin underlined that Belarus' military technical aid is of great importance for the Balkan country. “We've received four MiG-29 aircraft, which are now part of the Serbian Armed Forces. There is also a number of military and economic projects between our countries. We are interested in certain technologies Belarus has but we also have something to offer – products of the Serbian defense industry. Our armies hold joint training events. This year we are hosting the Belarusian-Serbian-Russian exercise Slavonic Brotherhood.”
Upon request of the Serbian army specialists of OAO 558 Aircraft Repair Plant will perform repairs and upgrades of the aircraft, which were handed over on 25 February. It may take from one year to one year and a half to do that depending on the degree of modernization the Serbian Air Force may want. Primarily the navigation system will be modernized. The modernization of weapon systems and radioelectronic defenses of the aircraft was mentioned as an option. Chairman of the State Military Industrial Committee of Belarus Roman Golovchenko noted: “OAO 558 Aircraft Repair Plant has accumulated a lot of experience modernizing, repairing, and providing logistics support to aircraft of the MiG-29 type. I would like to assure that Belarus will honor its commitments properly and on time, which will allow enhancing the combat potential of the winged machines. I am convinced that the aircraft upgraded by the Belarusian company will serve as a reliable shield and a guarantor of Serbia's independence and security.”