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Serbia in talks with Airbus for armed H125 helos, SiRTAP UAS

The armed H125M was showcased at the Paris Air Show 2023, during which Miloradović held discussions with Airbus on a number of planned procurement projects. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Serbia and Airbus are in talks over the possible joint production in Serbia of the armed version of the Airbus H125M helicopter and the Airbus SiRTAP (Sistema RPAS Táctico de Altas Prestaciones) tactical unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

Nenad Miloradović, assistant minister for material resources in the Serbian Ministry of Defence (MoD), disclosed the discussions in a 9 July interview on national TV.

The H125Ms could serve as a replacement for 45 Yugoslav/SOKO-made Aérospatiale (now Airbus Helicopters) Gazelles that are still serving the Serbian Armed Forces, while the SiRTAP would augment Serbia's recently received Chinese-made CH-92 and CH-95 armed UAS, as well as the Pegaz (Pegasus) armed UAS that has been co-developed with China.

Belgrade's prime interest is to secure as big as possible involvement of the Serbian defence industrial complex in producing aeronautical components and weapon systems for Airbus-designed and manufactured aircraft. Serbian officials are also focused on securing stable and sustainable business for the Batajnica-based maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) aeronautical plant Moma Stanojlović. This military MRO plant is already backed by Airbus in organising heavy maintenance and securing the airworthiness of the Gazelles.

Miloradović's statement came a month after he led a national delegation to the Paris Air Show 2023, during which the assistant minister met with Airbus to discuss a number of projects.

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