President Vučić: New Helicopters Are the Guardians of Our Country and Skies
(Source: Serbian Ministry of Defence; issued Dec. 08, 2019)
Five Airbus H145M helicopters were inspected by the President of Serbia on Dec. 7, along with upgraded Russian Mi-35 Hind and Mi-17 Hip Russian helicopters. Visible in the foreground is an Aerospatiale Gazelle, still in Serbian service. (Serbia MoD photo)
“I congratulate the Serbian Armed Forces and citizens of Serbia. Serbia has never had this, since we have not restored something, but we have created something that we have never had. Today, you could see a presentation of European and Russian helicopters which we have purchased, from the state-of-the-art assault helicopters and fighter helicopters Mi-35 which is believed to have no match in the world. I am grateful to our Russian friends for helping us even today to assemble those helicopters.

“You have seen armed new Mi-17, and you have seen the weapons and equipment, missiles and 23mm guns, guided and unguided missiles that are used to arm those helicopters of ours,” President of the Republic of Serbia and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces Aleksandar Vučić underlined today, after visiting the new helicopters with which the Serbian Armed Forces are equipped – Mi-35, H-145M and Mi-17, at the “Colonel-Pilot Milenko Pavlović” airfield in Batajnica.

“You could see for the first time, that our Mi-17 can carry bucket with water so that we can intervene in case of fire. They also have their transport role, to transport paratroopers, and special forces member for airborne tasks. At the same time they are multifunctional, which means that they can participate in very important combat activities,” he added.

President Vučić said that helicopter H-145M was presented on that day, adding that those were exceptionally good Airbus helicopters.

“I am happy because Generals Mojsilović and Žarković and all our pilots and mechanics, and all our people are happy and satisfied. Our soldiers do not live solely for salaries, which are increasing year after year. I know that it still is not enough and it is not the essential motive since they have always lived for their Serbia, for their country and for what they work with, in what and on what they work.

“I believe that it was only in the time of former Yugoslavia that we could say that we had so many helicopters and such lethal and modern squadrons and helicopters, like it is the case today. I am happy because of that, and we were able to do it not because someone would say that we love Serbia more than somebody else, but because we have resolved the issue of public finances.

“When it was tough, we implemented difficult reforms and managed to ensure that our armed forces are very well and, I would say, sufficiently armed and equipped, having in mind requirement of deterring anyone who would try to use aggression,” President Vučić emphasised adding that it was important for our armed forces to have such kind of power.

President Vučić thanked all who had participated in it from the Ministry of Defence and Serbian Armed Forces, particularly the minister of defence, Chief of General Staff and assistant minister of defence for material resources and all other people who had fought for that and he was satisfied that they had managed to find money for that.

“To be honest, when you look at how the machines look like, then it is clear to you why they call some of them “the terror” and why some call them the “Devil’s chariots”. To us, they are not so, but they are guardians of our country, our sky and we are happy and proud to have them in our country,” President Vučić stated.

After the tour and conversation with pilots and crews, President Vučić congratulated the citizens of Serbia and the Serbian Armed Forces.

“To you, my dear soldiers, I wish many good flight hours, and I wish you a lot of success in protecting our sky, our country, our rivers and I wish you to be proud of your Serbia, and I wish you to have less work in the future, only training and nothing more than that,” President Vučić concluded, adding that he was proud to be the Supreme Commander of the armed forces that were always capable of defending our country, and which were on that day more equipped and better armed that they had ever been.

Today’s presentation of the new helicopters introduced in the Serbian Armed Forces was attended by Secretary General of the President of the Republic Nikola Selaković, Assistant Minister of Defence for Material Resources Nenad Miloradović, Air Force and Air Defence Commander Major General Duško Žarković, Deputy Commander of Joint Operations Command Major General Iliija Todorov, Head of Planning and Development Department of the General Staff Brigadier General Milan Popović, Commander of 204th Air Brigade Colonel Bane Krnjajić, and Commander of the 98th Air Brigade Colonel Dejan Vasiljević.

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