Minister Vulin: Great interest in the products of Serbian defence industry
“Everybody who means something in defence industry of the world especially in the field of the Army, is in Abu Dhabi today and they have an opportunity to see what it is that Serbia has to offer. Today, “Jugoimport-SDPR J. P.”, as a company that gathers the entire Serbian defence industry, and often represents it in the world, has presented at the exhibition in Abu Dhabi what it is that Serbia has to offer to the world – stated minister of defence Aleksandar Vulin, who, upon the invitation of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, stays in official visit to that country in the framework of which he visited the International Defence Exhibition of Arms and Military Equipment “IDEX 2019”.
The minister underscored that the great interest of foreign buyers had already been attracted by a missile system “Ralas”, our unmanned aerial vehicles, our unmanned helicopter and traditionally by our well known products – Nora B52 155mm, various types of ammunition, and even smart ammunition which was presented for the first time at that event.
“In 2018, Serbian defence industry made profit and exports that were increased by 13.9 per cent compared to the previous year. The defence industry will continue its development much like the state will continue investing in it. Today, we will continue something that then President of the Government Aleksandar Vučić started, and owing to the reforms which he carried out, we have enough money today to invest in defence industry and show the world what it is that makes us proud” stated Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin.
Among more than 1,300 exhibitors from more than 60 countries, Jugoimport SDPR J.P. appears at the International Arms Exhibition “IDEX 2019” in Abu Dhabi, as an integrator of Serbian defence industry, presenting at one place all new and classical achievements of our defence industry. According to Assistant Director of Jugoimport SDPR J.P., Aleksandar Lijaković, it was a tradition practiced for many years.
“In the last several years, we have intensively increased investments in the marketing, not only in development. This is the third time, after Abu Dhabi 2017 and the exhibition in Paris, that we have had such an impressive stand, which is by its size and marketing investments, at the level of world class producers” stressed Lijaković adding that “we stand shoulder to shoulder with the leading world producers when it comes to the position in the exhibition space and quantity of exhibits”.
The thing that singles out this year’s assortment presented at the stand of our defence industry from the previous appearances is that this time, along with classical products of our defence industry, the stress was placed on a huge technological breakthrough achieved in the field of complex combat systems.
“Namely, it is a Jugoimport SDPR J.P. programme which includes NORA, “Miloš” and “Lazar 3” in two variants, and we have a new member of the “Lazar” family – a “Lazar” system with a “Ralas” missile with nine kilometre range, where we exploited the development of the “Alas” system with the range of up to 25 kilometres” Lijaković highlighted.
According to him the huge technological breakthrough was made in the guided missiles segment as well, comprising “Munja”, and several new GPS guided bombs, which places us in the group of the highest technological countries of the world within the domain of defence industry, since we are doing something that, until now, has been reserved solely for the great powers.
Lijaković also expressed his expectations that the armoured vehicles “Miloš” and “Lazar“ in their integral form would attract great interest at this year’s exhibition as well, as well as the system NORA, traditionally our bestselling complex combat system and its new variant “Aleksandar”.
“We also have new long range missile systems and guided and unguided missiles, which is something in what we are now investing for the future, so that we could be a strong defence industry in the world. There are also infantry weapons, mortar and small arms ammunition, mid calibre ammunition, which have been so far our main products in terms of quantity of exports” – Lijaković stressed, adding that aircraft “Hornet” had been presented at the previous exhibition, and unmanned helicopter type aircraft armed with bombs, and he also mentioned that there was a new aircraft too, with four rotors and the fifth rotor for horizontal flight.
Speaking about the future export projects, Lijaković underscores that “Jugoimport SDPR J.P.” perceives the United Arab Emirates as one of the most significant partners, and that there are several on-going projects which are in different phases of realisation.
The Armed Forces of the UAE, which is equipped by the most advanced and the most sophisticated weapon systems, showed a great interest in the unmanned armed platform “Little Miloš“, which has been successfully tested in harsh terrain conditions of the Emirates. This system was developed by the MTI, and it is produced by Prva Petoletka which is among the representatives of Serbian defence industry that jointly appeared at this year’s IDEX exhibition. Director of the company “Prva Petoletka – Namenska” Anđelka Atanasković points out that she expects great interest in the products that we are to present, having in mind that the stand attracted a lot of visitors during the previous exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
“Our production programme encompasses, mortars, different types of hand launchers and we already have contracts in place with the United Arab Emirates that will mark this and the following year, and I expect here some even more favourable and better contracts. The last contract was worth 15 million dollars, and every contract to follow, depends on the quantity of contracted products” said the Director of “Prva Petoletka” from Trstenik.
Looking back on the interest showed by the visitors touring the stand of Serbian defence industry during the exhibition, Director Atanasković stressed that all the exhibited products had been met by interest, and she added that the experiences from the previous exhibitions confirmed the expectation of significant number of visits from interested buyers.