MiGs 29 airborne again

BELGRADE - The MiGs 29 of the Serbian Air Force can fly again thanks to the batteries donated by the Russian Federation.

Defence Minister Bratislav Gasic and Chief of the General Staff Ljubisa Dikovic watched the first flight of one of the MiGs on radar on Tuesday.

Gasic said he was pleased the aircraft were back in service, but also by the fact that pilot training and maintenance of all the planes had been at a high level.

"Regardless of the great difficulties faced by the Serbian Armed Forces with financial restrictions that have been present since 2006, the military has succeeded in keeping its equipment very safe, and pilot training has also been uninterrupted," he stated.

The MiGs 29 were unfit to fly for a while due to battery issues, which are very important for safety, but the problem was solved thanks to the Russian donation.

Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said two days earlier the batteries had arrived in Belgrade, and that Russian President Vladimir Putin had insisted on the donation.

Serbia had issued a tender invitation, but Putin personally insisted on donating the batteries, Vucic noted, adding that he was very grateful for the gift.

Thanks to this donation, Serbia will once again, after a long time, have soevereignty over its sky when it comes to patrolling.

Photo Tanjug, S. Ilic

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