The current serviceability and related maintenance issues of the Ratno vazduhoplovstvo i protivvazduhoplovna odbrana Vojske Srbije (Serbia Air Force and Air Defence) MiG-29 fighter aircraft is causing headaches for the Serbian Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Originally Serbia planned to acquire six additional MiG-29s, most probably direct or indirect from Russia, to increase the combat capability of their current fighter aircraft fleet. However, due to the current war in Ukraine, it is almost impossible – not only to acquire MiG-29s – but also to obtain the much needed spare parts from Russia to keep the current fighter fleet in the air.
In April 2021, Serbia received two MiG-29s from Belarus. The fighters were part of a donation of four MiG-29s (variant 9-13) to Serbia. Scramble Magazine first reported about this delivery on 19 April 2021.
The Serbian president, Mr. Aleksander Vučić, stated that an alternative is now sought. He specifically mentioned the Dassault Rafale as the best option. The Ministry of Defence will send a Letter of Request (LoR) to the French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation.
The Rafale seems to be the preferred choice, because as a result of the country’s historical conflict with the US, Serbia is unable to request the purchase of a US-made aircraft.
Source: Scramble News