Serbia’s ministry of internal affairs will acquire three twin-engine Airbus H215 Super Puma helicopters, to be delivered in 2021 and 2022. This order follows a 2016 contract between Serbia and Airbus for nine H145M utility helicopters, the first of which was delivered in December.
Serbia, which seeks to maintain good relations with the U.S., its allies and Moscow while retaining its military independence, has been rebuilding its air capabilities since the country’s air force was largely destroyed during NATO’s air campaign in 1999. Today, Serbia flies a number of Airbus helicopters as well as Russian Mi-35 combat helicopters and Mi-17 transport rotorcraft.
The country plans to continue investing heavily in air power, with the planned delivery this year of three Mi-35s, two Mi-17v-5s and “an undisclosed number of Chinese-made unmanned combat aerial vehicles,” according to the Serbian government, as well as the H145s and now three H215s to be delivered in the coming years.
Industrial cooperation between Serbia and Airbus continues to deepen, with work being done to turn a military aeronautical plant in Batajnica into an Airbus-certified regional maintenance, repair and overhaul center for SA 341/342 Gazelles, operated by the militaries of a number of countries in eastern Europe including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro.