The Serbian government is considering the purchase of Russian missile defense systems S-400 through obtaining a long-term loan, the Vecherne Novosti daily informed on Friday, citing its own sources.
"Serbia’s military and state leadership was impressed by the efficiency of the S-400 system [during the recent drills "Slavic Shield-2019" with the participation of the Russian military]. In the coming months, they might hold talks with Moscow on acquiring a long-term loan for the purchase this missile defense system," the newspaper wrote.
The daily reminded that a group of Serbian military officers had wrapped up joint drills with Russia using S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, TASS reports.
The Slavic Shield-2019 Russian-Serbian drills were held for the first time and consisted of two stages. The first stage took place in September at the Russian Aerospace Force’s combat training center in the southern Astrakhan Region. The second stage involved the teams of an S-400 air defense system and Pantsyr-S anti-aircraft missile/gun launchers of Russia’s Aerospace Force, and also Neva-M1T and Kub-M surface-to-air missile systems of Serbia’s Air Force and Air Defense Forces.
The Slavic Shield-2019 exercise practiced the issues of inter-operability of air defense troops from both countries.
Russia’s S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the latest long-and medium-range surface-to-air missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and can also be used against ground installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of up to 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km under intensive enemy fire and jamming.