Serbian Air Force and Air Defence
|Serbian Air Force and Air Defence|
|Size||4,000 personnel and 200 aircraft|
|Headquarters||Air Force Command, Zemun|
|Motto||"За слободу и част Отаџбине"
"For Freedom and Honor of the Fatherland"
|Engagements||Operation Allied Force|
|Commander||Brigadier general Ranko Živak|
|Attack||J-22, G-4, SA.342 GAMA|
|Trainer||Utva 75, Lasta 95, G-4, NJ-22|
|Transport||An-2, An-26, Yak-40, Mi-8, Mi-17|
The Serbian Air Force and Air Defence (Serbian: Ваздухопловство и противваздушна одбрана / Vazduhoplovstvo i protivvazdušna odbrana), is the air force of Serbia and service branch of the Serbian Armed Forces. Established on 24 December 1912 in the city of Niš, it is one of the oldest air forces in the world.
The first aviation expert in Serbia was lieutenant Kosta Miletić, selected owing to his physical and mental abilities. He got the rank of pilot of tied and free balloons at the Technical Aeronautical School near St. Petersburg (February 14, 1901 – November 12, 1902), and he was also trained for handling messenger pigeons. Meanwhile, on December 17, 1903, in the USA, the Wright brothers made the first successful flight in the world’s first motor-powered, heavier-than-the-air craft, called “aero plane” or “airplane”. According to projects of Lt. Kosta Miletić, Serbian armed forces posed messenger pigeon stations (in 1908 in Medosevac near Nis and in 1909 in Pirot), and bought two free spherical and one tied kite – balloon from the company "August Ridinger" from Augsburg. At the reception ceremony, on April 19, 1909, Kosta Miletić flew a spherical balloon called “Serbia”. One balloon was provided from Russia. A gas chamber was ordered from the company "Dillmann" in Berlin, and field winch from St Petersburg. A hydorogen unit was provided from the Swiss company „Oerlikon“. The equipment was delivered to Serbia in 1909 and 1910.
The first competition for the cadet airmen in Serbia was opened on May 1911, and in the following year the First class of Serbian pilots started their flying training in France from May 21 to September 8, 1912 and got the rank of pilot. They finished the course in the beginning of the First Balkan War (See also:Italo-Turkish War) which forced to equip Serbian military with the aircraft and the balloons (of course with a great material renunciation). In the autumn of 1912, Serbia got the aircraft for its armed forces. On the 24th December 1912 the head of the military Ministry Radomir Putnik signed the papers about forming the Aviation Command situated in Niš; the commander was Major Kosta Miletić. It comprised: the Aircraft Squad which counted 12 military aircraft, the Balloon squad, the Pigeon post and the Base. This date is the date of forming of Serbian Air Force. This made Serbia, one of the first 15 states in the world to have an air force. Its first combat experience, the Serbian Aviation has experienced on the March 1913 over the Skadar. On the first combat flight sergeant-pilot Mihajlo Petrović was killed as the second victim of World Military Aviation. The first victim of military aviation was a Bulgarian pilot Topradzijev who was killed in 1912 when he was flying back from the reconnaissance mission over Edirne (See also:Battle of Adrianople (1913)). Mihajlo Petrović was the first trained Serbian airplane pilot. He completed his training and exams at the famous Farman pilot school in France and was awarded the international FAI license no.979 in June 1912. His Serbian pilot's license carries the number 1.
1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia 
An important portion of the 1999 war between Yugoslavia and the NATO coalition involved combat between the Yugoslav Air Force, which was the predecessor of today's Serbian Air Force, and the opposing air forces of NATO. United States Air Force F-15s and F-16s flying mainly from Italian air force bases attacked the defending Yugoslav fighters--usually MiG-29s, which were in bad shape, due to lack of spare parts and maintenance. A total of six Yugoslav MiG-29s were shot down in 1999, of which three were shot down by USAF F-15s, one by a USAF F-16, and one by a RNAF F-16. One aircraft, according to a Serbian documentary, was hit by friendly fire from the ground. Another four were destroyed on the ground. During the course of the air war, Yugoslav anti-aircraft defenses downed a USAF F-16C and an F-117 Nighthawk, the first stealth aircraft to ever be shot down in combat.
- Maintaining airspace dominance.
- Intercepting airspace violators.
- Providing air support and transport for terrestrial units.
- Responding to natural disasters.
The air force fleet consists of several Soviet combat aircraft, consisting of a number of MiG-21s, and MiG-29s. Serbia is looking to replace its aging fleet with new multi-role combat aircraft. Before its demise, the former Yugoslav Air Force was developing the Novi Avion project which was intended as a replacement. The project was canceled in 1991 due to the collapse of Yugoslavia.
Serbia as the largest succeeding nation of Yugoslavia, received the bulk of the former air force. Since the Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control was enacted in 1996, dozens of J-22, J-21 and G-2s have been withdrawn from service.
Air Defence 
The Serbian air force operates a variety of Soviet surface-to-air missile systems. Many are long-range with a moderate amount of short-range weapons assigned to infantry units. The 250th Air Defence Missile Brigade operates SA-3 and SA-6 surface-to-air missile systems. The military is upgrading both types with fire-and-forget ability. The air force has upgraded "Neva-M" to the "Neva-M1T" standard.
- S-605/654 Observation radars
- S-613 Altitude measurement radar
- AN/TPS-70 3D radar
- AS-74 and AS-84 automatized systems
- Air Force and Air Defence Command
- 204th Air Brigade Batajnica Air Base
- 101st Fighter Squadron
- 252nd Training Squadron
- 138th Transport Squadron
- 890th Mixed Helicopter Squadron
- 24th Air Technical Battalion
- 17th Airfield Security Battalion
- 177th Air Defence Artillery Missile Battalion
- 98th Air Brigade Kraljevo-Lađevci Airport
- 250th Air Defence Missile Brigade
- Command Company
- 1st Air Defence Missile Battalion
- 2nd Air Defence Missile Battalion
- 230th Air Defence Self-Propelled Missile Battalion
- 240th Air Defence Self-Propelled Missile Battalion
- 310th Air Defence Self-Propelled Missile Battalion
- 126th Air Surveillance, Early Warning and Guidance Brigade
- Command Company
- 20th ASEWG Battalion
- 31st ASEWG Battalion
- Air Maintenance and Supply Company
Aircraft inventory 
|An order for at least six units to be confirmed on May 23, 2013.|
|Mikoyan MiG-29||Soviet Union||Fighter
|MiG-29B / L-18
MiG-29UB / NL-18
|Currently all grounded. Five refurbished and modernized in 2008, one crashed on July 7, 2009.|
|Mikoyan MiG-21||Soviet Union||Fighter
|MiG-21bis / L-17
MiG-21UM / NL-16
|14 in active service. To be retired in 2018.|
|Soko J-22 Orao||Yugoslavia||Fighter-bomber
|Total of 33. More than half are grounded, less than a dozen have been refurbished and are airworthy.|
|Antonov An-2||Soviet Union||Utility||An-2TD / T-71||1|
|Antonov An-26||Soviet Union||Transport||An-26 / T-70||8||Two overhauled, the rest of the fleet is grounded indefinitely.|
|Yakovlev Yak-40||Soviet Union||VIP transport/utility||Yak-40||3||All grounded indefinitely.|
|Piper PA-34 Seneca||United States||Aerial cartography||PA-34 Seneca V||1|
|Soko G-4 Super Galeb||Yugoslavia||Fighter-Ground attack
|G-4 / N-62||25||Half are grounded. Some have been refurbished, unknown number of aircraft to be modernized in 2013-2015, according to the budget for the coming years|
|Utva 75||Yugoslavia||Basic trainer||V-53||12||To be replaced with Lasta 95.|
|Lasta 95||Serbia||Basic trainer||V-54||5 (out of 15 on order)||Being delivered.|
|Soko Gazelle||France/ Yugoslavia||Utility
HN-45 Gama 2
|A total of 61. Not all airworthy.|
|Mi-8/Mi-17||Soviet Union||Transport||Mi-8T / HT-40
Mi-17 / HT-48
Air Defence 
|2K12 Kub||Surface-to-air missile||Soviet Union||Kub-M||80|
|S-125 Neva/Pechora||Surface-to-air missile||Soviet Union||Neva-M1T||12 systems , 32 launchers|
The MoD of Serbia is considering the purchase of new multirole combat aircraft capable of performing the tasks of air superiority, ground strike, as well as reconnaissance, said in an interview with the Serbian newspaper "Evening News" Air Force Commander Major-General Dragan Katanich. The type and number of aircraft is currently not defined. Request for Information (RFI) have been sent out to the manufacturers of the following aircraft: the Lockheed Martin F-16 "Fighting Falcon", the Boeing F/A-18E/F "Super Hornet", the EADS Eurofighter Typhoon, the Saab Gripen, the Mikoyan MiG-29M, the Sukhoi Su-30 and the Dassault Rafale. SAAB did not respond to Serbia's Request For Information (RFI). Although no RFI was submitted to Chinese companies, CAC presented it's J10A and FC-1 aircraft to a Serbian delegation that was visiting China. Requests for Proposal (RFP) have been sent out to the companies which answered the previous RFI, namely Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Dassault, Mikoyan, Sukhoi and EADS. No RFP has been sent out to the Chinese CAC.
From information released in 2013, Serbia is planning to purchase 12 or 16 MiG-29M/M2 multi-role fighters, S-300PMU-2 surface-to-air missile systems, as well as Pantsir-S1 and Buk-M2E air defence systems.
Aircraft markings 
The Serbian Air Force roundel was officially adopted in 2006. The roundel is an adapted version of the former Royal Yugoslav Air Force roundel which ceased to exist in 1943. It is composed of a blue trim on the outside rim followed inward by the Serbian national colours red, blue and white, with a white cross in the centre with blue trim.
The Air Force also uses a low visibility roundel of the same design only replacing the traditional roundel colours of red, blue and white with two grey colour variations of light and dark for contrast, these roundels have most recently been placed on refurbished MiG-29s. Most other aircraft continue to use the standard coloured roundel.
Serbian Air Force Centennial 
The Serbian Air Force observed its centennial anniversary celebration on September 2, 2012, marking one-hundred years of its existence by hosting an international air show organized by the Ministry of Defense as the central manifestation. The air show featured representatives from 16 countries around the world and 27 kinds of aircraft.
|Ranks in Serbian||Генерал
|Ranks||General||Lieutenant Colonel General||Major General||Brigadier General||Colonel||Lieutenant Colonel||Major||Captain||Lieutenant||Second Lieutenant|
|Ranks in Serbian||Заставник I класе
Zastavnik I klase
|Старији Водник I класе
Stariji Vodnik I klase
|Ranks||Warrant Officer, 1st class||Warrant Officer||Staff Sergeant 1st class||Staff Sergeant||Sergeant||Lance Sergeant||Corporal||Airman First Class|
See also 
- "Yugoslavia Air Force". aeroflight.co.uk. 12 November 2006.
- Air Warfare: an International Encyclopedia: A-L, by Walter J. Boyne, p.66
- Lok, Joris Janssen. "How Dutch F-16AMs shot down a Mig-29". Janes.com. Retrieved 7 September 2009.[dead link]
- "Niko nije rekao neću, drugi deo Predrag Milutinović pilot" (in Serbian). Radio Television of Serbia. 11 May 2009.
- "Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum: Losses & Ejections". ejection-history.org.uk. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- "Serb discusses downing of stealth". USA Today. 26 October 2005.
- "Serbia fields improved S-125 missile". Janes.com.
- "Order of Battle - Serbia". milaviapress.com.
- "World Air Forces 2013" (PDF). Flightglobal.com. 11 December 2012.
- (in Serbian). Radio Television of Serbia. 6 April 2013 http://www.rts.rs/page/stories/sr/story/125/Dru%C5%A1tvo/1318248/Srbija+zainteresovana+za+Mig-29+M2.html. Missing or empty
- "ViPVO desetkovano: MiG-29 prizemljen od početka godine" (in Serbian). Tango Six. 19 April 2013.
- "Poginuli pilot i vojnik u padu MIG-29 Vojske Srbije" (in Serbian). Radio Television of Vojvodina. 7 July 2009.
- Petar Vojinovic (19 April 2013). "ViPVO desetkovano: MiG-29 prizemljen od početka godine" (in Serbian). TangoSix.rs.
- "Serbian air force receives multirole Seneca". Flightglobal.com. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- Zoran Glavonjić (29 August 2012). "Vojno vazduhoplovstvo Srbije čeka modernizaciju" (in Serbian). Radio Slobodna Evropa.
- "Serbia receives first Lasta basic trainers, eyes more Mi-17s". Flightglobal.com. 21 December 2011.
- "Serbian air force gets refurbished helicopters". Flightglobal.com. 2 September 2010.
- "Минобороны Сербии планирует провести модернизацию ВВС" (in Russian). arms-tass.su. 20 February 2009.
- T. Bojković (25 December 2010). "Nejasno zašto Šveđani nisu ponudili „gripen” Srbiji" (in Serbian). Politika.
- "Rojters: Srbija kupuje borbene avione" (in Serbian). vesti-online.com. 16 December 2011.
- Miroslav Lazanski (01 December 2012). "Novi „migovi” i S-400 stižu u Srbiju" (in Serbian). Politika.
- "Serbian air force marks centenary". Flightglobal.com. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "One Hundred Years of the Serbian military aviation". aeromiting.vs.rs. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- Air Forces Monthly Magazine, Aeroflight
- Vazduhoplovstvo Srbije na Solunskom frontu 1916-1918, Vladeta D. Vojinovic, 2000
- Srpska Avijatika 1912-1918; MJV, Sky, EUROSINI; 1992
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