Soldiers assigned to an Air Force surface-to-air missile brigade under the PLA Southern Theater Command use a crane to hoist and load an air defense missile onto a launch pad during a recent maneuver . (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Yuan Hai and Xiang Kun)
Serbia has purchased the Chinese FK-3 air defense missile system, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic reportedly confirmed on Wednesday, after reports emerged on Saturday that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force ( Chinese APL) delivered the air defense equipment via the Y-20 large transport. plane.
As an export version of the PLA’s HQ-22, the FK-3 can significantly improve Serbia’s national defense capabilities, at a time when NATO is dividing the world and could complicate the security situation around Serbia, Chinese analysts said on Wednesday.
Serbia purchased China’s FK-3 air defense missile system transparently, in accordance with laws and regulations, and followed procedures, Vucic said, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Wednesday. Vucic has been accused by other politicians of having “armed the country at the hands of competitors from Europe and NATO”.
Serbia has found its own path based on the will of its people, and the Serbian people are proud to have protected their own country on their own rather than having NATO do it on their behalf, Vucic said. in the CCTV report.
The CCTV report came after foreign reports said a large number of PLA Air Force Y-20 cargo planes were spotted in Serbia on Saturday, and speculation claimed that the FK-3 air defense missile system was delivered to the Serbian army.
The FK-3 is an all-weather medium and long range surface-to-air defense missile system that can perform missions in complex electromagnetic environments. It can intercept targets such as fixed-wing aircraft, drones, cruise missiles, air-to-surface tactical missiles and helicopters, according to promotional materials distributed at previous defense expos.
As a medium altitude air defense weapon comparable to the US Patriot air defense missile, the FK-3 missile system can serve as a powerful deterrent against aircraft, including fighter jets and bombers that perform missions such as defense penetration, precision strikes and bombing, Wang Ya’nan, editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
He will play a very important role for Serbia as the security situation in Europe evolves, Wang said. As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, many countries gravitate towards or away from the West, and the US-led NATO is the one dividing the world, he said. declared.
Serbia has been the victim of air raids, so it is natural for the country to invest in its air defense capabilities, analysts said. In 1999, NATO launched a 78-day bombardment of Yugoslavia, killing thousands, including three Chinese citizens, and displacing hundreds of thousands.
As an air defense system, the FK-3 is defensive in nature and will not harm regional peace and stability, experts said.
In order to carry out an annual cooperation project between China and Serbia, China recently sent PLA air force transport planes to Serbia to deliver normal military goods, Zhao said. Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, at a regular press conference. Monday, when a reporter asked him to confirm whether China had recently delivered the HQ-22 air defense system to Serbia, and whether this decision was related to the current situation in Ukraine.
This project does not target any third parties, nor is it related to the current situation, Zhao said, noting that the media should not interpret it too much.