This is the first known purchase of FK-3 complexes in Europe.
BELGRADE-Serbia has purchased a new generation of medium-range surface-to-air radar-guided missiles from China, a new sign of deepening cooperation between Beijing and Belgrade.
The purchase of the FK-3 missile defense system was included in the annual report of the state weapons company Yugoimport SDPR submitted to the state business registers Agency last week, which was reviewed by Reuters.
Yugoimport SDPR reported that in 2019, the company concluded 163 agreements with 31 countries for a total of 620.3 million dollars. Weapons purchases include armed drones from China and the first known purchase of FK-3 systems in Europe.
“Most of the imports are related to the modernization of MiG-29 aircraft, the purchase of UAV systems, and the FK-3 air defense system,” the document says.
Beijing sees Serbia as part of the “one belt and one road” initiative aimed at opening up new foreign trade links for Chinese companies.
In 2018, Yugoimport SDPR concluded 162 import agreements with 32 countries with a total value of 482.7 million dollars. Purchases included Russian-made combat and transport helicopters.
China has invested billions of euros in this Balkan country, mainly in soft loans, infrastructure, and energy projects.
At the end of June, the Serbian air force received six CH-92A combat drones equipped with laser-guided missiles. This is the first such appearance of Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles in Europe.
Serbia, which hopes to join the EU, declared military neutrality in 2006 and joined the NATO Partnership for peace program, although the country does not seek full membership in the Western defense Alliance.
The Serbian armed forces are mainly based on the technologies of the former USSR, and in recent years Belgrade has purchased MiG-29 fighters, missiles, helicopters, tanks, and armored personnel carriers from Russia.