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JF-17 Thunder and Rafale to compete in Serbia
December 17, 2011 | Internasional Kompas
French-made Rafale aircraft are likely to fight with the plane made in China, JF-17, to fight over contract Serbian Air Force fleet rejuvenation. State ex-Yugloslavia it has budgeted about 1 billion euros ($ 11.8 billion) to buy about 12 new aircraft.

"Ideally, we would need about 12-16 new aircraft to secure our airspace. One billion euros I think fairly," said an official with the Serbian Defense Ministry told Reuters on Friday (16/12/2011) local time.

In a separate occasion, Serbian Air Force Chief of Staff Brigadier General Ranko Zivak say, the Kemenhan Serbia will invite manufacturers from around the world plane to make an offer next year.

Some Serb fighter who ogled among others Sukhoi Su-30 from Russia, the F-16 and F/A-18 from the U.S., Sweden's Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon from the European consortium, the Rafale from France, and the JF-17 from China.

AU Serbia is currently living with three MiG-29 and about a dozen old MiG-21 aircraft from the Soviet Union era. Most of the ancient Serbian air force because of unkempt damaged after it got from the UN arms embargo-related involvement in the Balkan wars in the era of the 1990s. Some fleet of MiG-29 Serbian also destroyed in NATO bombing campaign in 1999.

According to the magazine Zivak Odbrana defense, fighter procurement plans will enter the final stage, this month. Serbia must decide whether to choose a product developed by NATO or remain faithful to its main ally, Russia and China.
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