The President of the Republic of Serbia and the supreme commander of the Serbian Armed Forces Aleksandar Vučić, accompanied by minister of defence Aleksandar Vulin, chief of general staff of the Serbian Armed Forces General Milan Mojsilović, and the Russian ambassador Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko, attended the presentation of the new BRDM 2MS armoured reconnaissance vehicles provided by the Russian Federation at 'Mija Stanimirović' barracks in Niš.
After the display and tour of the arms and military equipment, President Vučić emphasised that he was very proud of the Serbian Armed Forces, the people who always serve Serbia and protect Serbia.
“I am proud of what we saw on these 10 BRDM 2MS vehicles, modernised ones, that we received from the Russian Federation. I would like to thank President Putin, Minister of Defence Shoigu and Ambassador Botsan-Kharchenko for the donation. We received these completely modernised vehicles as a gift from the Russian Federation, so we did not pay for the modernisation, the Russians paid for everything,” President Vučić said.
Speaking about the importance of the received vehicles, President Vučić emphasised that this drastically increases our operational capabilities and manoeuvrability, as well as fire power.
“This also shows what our experts are doing. ‘Grad’ missile accelerates missile launch from the ‘Oganj’ system by up to seven to 10 times. This means you can fire fast, tremendously powerful charge, and quickly dodge and escape enemy artillery. This is of great importance to our country. ‘Prva petoletka’ company is producing this and there is much more to be done by the end of this and the next year.
“Once again, I would like to thank our Russian friends, we expect some more donations to come from the Russian Federation, as well as some things that we have ordered and paid for, such as helicopters known as ‘flying tanks’, first of all Mi-35, but we will also receive a Mi-17, perhaps the best transport helicopter.
“We will arm them as needed, and they are used to transport units, intervention where rapid response is required. We bought two brand-new Mi-17s last year, and for us the Mi-35 is a special attraction as well as, I believe, for all people in Serbia. These four helicopters have tremendous fire power,” President Vučić said.
Ambassador Botsan-Kharchenko thanked President Vučić for his readiness for development of comprehensive Russia-Serbia relations.
“I am proud to be here today, at an event that testifies to the development of our relations and the development of relations in the military-technical field. These vehicles are a gift, and we also have plans for the continuation of Russia's assistance to the Republic of Serbia and plans for the development of military-technical cooperation. I would like to emphasise that both Russia and Serbia have an interest in developing cooperation in this sphere encompassing both the technical and military-political as well as the political dimension, and we understand that modernisation, equipping and strengthening the military are an inalienable part of protecting the sovereignty of any country, in this case Serbia, and Russia is ready to help.
“President Putin believes that strengthening of the military is of great importance to the sovereignty of the country. I would like to emphasise that this cooperation will help strengthening the defence capability of Serbia, as well as strengthening the security in the region,” the ambassador of the Russian Federation in Belgrade emphasised.
According to Deputy Army Commander Brigadier General Vladeta Baltić, who commanded today's presentation, equipping the Army's units with modern BRDM 2MS reconnaissance vehicles significantly enhances the ability of reconnaissance units to collect data on the enemy, space and time in directions of its use, especially considering that they are equipped with modern opto-electronic means. In addition to the data collection means, these vehicles had their manoeuvrability improved, level of ballistic protection increased and fire power was increased, so they can successfully track armoured units on the battlefield, which was difficult to do with the current means.
Speaking about the characteristics of the BRDM 2MS, with reference to the comparative characteristics of that and the previous model, Colonel Vladan D. Milosavljević, Chief of Planning and Development Department at the Army Command emphasised that although they may seem similar at first glance, the essential differences are huge. He added that additional ballistic protection was performed on BRDM 2MS, at level 3A, a diesel engine developing 150 hp was installed, which provided twice [the range], while the fire control system is brand new and there are two sighting devices [which], because of the vehicle's gyro stability, can be fired from on the move.
Ten BRDM 2MS armoured reconnaissance vehicles, presented today in Niš, in accordance with the military-technical agreement agreed between the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić and the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, reached Serbia within the agreed deadline and without any transportation problems.
The BRDM 2MS reconnaissance armoured vehicle is intended for reconnaissance in all conditions on land and on water. Turret with weapons is gyro-stabilised and allows shooting on the move. It is armoured with 14 mm hull nose plate, 7 mm hull sides and 8 mm hull floor. Additional ballistic protection consists of twenty 6 mm panels allowing protection against 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm ball ammunition on all sides. The front side of the armour protects against 14.5 mm rounds at a distance of 300 m. Carpet minefield breaching system is installed on the floor of the vehicle, which improved mine protection.
It is armed with 14.5 mm KPVT machine guns with rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute and 7.62 mm PKT with rate of fire of 700 rounds per minute.
The fire control system enables stabilisation of weapons and aiming devices during firing, automatic tracking of the weapon axis with the axis of the aiming device, blocking the electrical switch when the armament is in the position of unsafe opening of the fire and bringing the armament to the filling position.
There is a mounted three-channel panoramic stabilised commander's device allowing target detection up to 5 by day and up to 3.5 km at night, and target recognition of up to 2.7 by day and up to 1.5 km at night. Beside it, there is a mounted gunner's device, which is coupled with 14.5 mm KPVT and 7.62 mm PKT machine guns. In addition, the vehicle also has 6 television cameras, which allow crew members surveillance during the visible part of the day, during rainfall and at dusk. The image is displayed in black and white in 4 multi-function panels.
The crew consists of five members, namely commander, driver, gunner and two scouts. Overcomes vertical slope of 30º and lateral slope of 25º. Asphalt road speeds are 90 to 100 km/h and dirt roads 40 to 50 km/h. The radius of travel is 1500 km.
At Niš barracks ‘Mija Stanimirović’, today, there have also been a display of a part of the new armaments and equipment of the Army and Special Brigade units, as well as some of the armaments under development in the Serbian defence industry.
Apart from the static part, there was demonstration of practical work of a tank company on the march, an artillery battery during the emplacement of elements of combat deployment and a marching column of an armoured reconnaissance company on BRDM 2MS armoured reconnaissance vehicles.