Serbia eyes Rafale combat aircraft

French Dassault Rafale Serbia
Dassault Rafale muti-role fighter.

The French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation could soon finalize a contract with Serbia for the sale of Rafale fighters. On his recent visit to the IDEX 2023 exhibition in Abu Dhabi, Serbian President, Alexandar Vucic, said that they have renounced negotiations with Russia for the acquisition of MiG-29 fighters and would send a formal request to France to the purchase of a dozen new Rafale F4s.

According to previous reports by local media, Serbia has already allocated 3 billion euros for the purchase of new combat aircraft, simulators, spare parts, armaments and training. The new platform is intended to replace aging Soviet-era jets currently in service with the Serbian Air Force. President Vucic said an additional $700 million was added to this year's $1.5 billion defense budget, suggesting a quick finalization of the deal for new fighters.

Serbia's choice to divert to Western-made aircraft is somewhat forced. Although the Serbian president has historically been on excellent terms with Vladimir Putin, he is aware that the purchase of MiG-29s from Russia would lead to Western sanctions on Belgrade.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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