Minister Vulin: New Fighting Vehicle in the Serbian Armed Forces after 30 years
Today, Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin and Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Milan Mojsilović observed the training held at the training ground “Nikinci” for the members of the Serbian Armed Forces in handling, use and work and basic maintenance of the new wheeled armoured fighting vehicle Lazar 3.
As Minister Vulin pointed out, that was the day of crowning the initiative of the President of Serbia and Supreme Commander Aleksandar Vučić, which he had launced when he had been the minister of defence, aimed at introducing the-state-of-the-art infantry fighting vehicle in our military.
- Lazar 3 has got today the crew of the Serbian Armed Forces. We have trained members of the military who can use it and who are able to transfer their knowledge to the others. Owing to that initiative, this year and the following year as well, the Serbian Armed Forces will intensively arm and equip themselves with the-state-of-the-art assets. Today, I am proud and happy because this is our fighting vehicle. This is the first time in more than 30 years that we have by our intelligence, knowledge and money created such a modern asset – Minister Vulin stated and added that back in 1980s, then SFRY had produced fighting vehicles and that, since then until the present, that was the first time that the Serbian Armed Forces had received such a powerful and modern asset of its own production.
- Our instructors, our intelligence, our money, our factory capacities have created Lazar 3. Only something that you produce on your own – that is truly yours. Only the technology that you master on your own can be your technology. No one can take that from you. No one can rob again the Serbian Armed Forces of the capability to equip themselves, to arm themselves and become stronger – Minister Vulin sent a message.
Chief of General Staff pointed out that it was a final phase of the training of the members of the Serbian Armed Forces in the use of the new fighting vehicle Lazar 3.
- Equipping is one segment in the process of raising operational capabilities of the Serbian Armed Forces. The most important segment relating to the use of the said fighting vehicle is now drawing to its end and we have, without any doubt, got the nucleus of the SAF members who will in the initial phase implement their knowledge, and in the part which relates not only to the use of the fighting vehicle, but to the use of the units in tactical and doctrinal principle. I am fully satisfied with the presented and entirely satisfied with the integration of the vehicles and personnel, and with everything that we have seen – General Mojsilović stressed expressing his gratitude for the utter coordination and implementation of strategic decision in the part relating to the equipment of the Serbian Armed Forces with the modern fighting assets.
According to Assistant Director of Jugoimport SDPR JP Aleksandar Lijaković, Lazar 3, after this demonstration and training of the members of the Serbian Armed Forces, has been introduced in the armament of the Serbian Armed Forces.
- This is not just a model of a new vehicle, but it is in its concept a completely new vehicle. This is an armoured fighting vehicle, 8x8, manufactured under the criteria of the leading vehicles of western production, which encompasses a rather modern approach to armoured protection, movability, fire power and capability for long-lasting combat in conflicts of different intensity, antiterrorist fight, anti-guerrilla fight, peacekeeping operations, and in classical conflicts of medium intensity – Lijaković emphasised.
Lieutenant Colonel Goran Jovanović from Planning and Development Department, which is in lead for the project of the fighting vehicle Lazar 3, underscored that he was satisfied with both the training conducted that day and with the new vehicle.
- We have acquired very complex asset, but not that complex that we cannot train ourselves for it quickly. The fighting vehicle Lazar 3 is in the rank with other fighting vehicles used by the countries in the region – Lieutenant Colonel Jovanović stressed adding that such sophisticated vehicle was precisely what our military required.
Corporal Predrag Novković from the 41st Infantry Battalion of the Fourth Army Brigade was among those who were at the training ground “Nikinci” and he pointed out that he had been on that training ground for over a month for the training for the vehicle Lazar 3.
- The training was extremely arduous, but it was not a problem for us. We have mastered the use of that vehicle and we are satisfied with both the training and vehicle – stated Corporal Novković.
The members of the Serbian Armed Forces have been presented with certificates on successfully completed training for WAFV Lazar 3.