President Vučić: We will have more helicopters than ever before
The first Airbus H-145M helicopter for the Serbian Armed Forces arrives
Today, at the Fair of Arms and Military Equipment Partner 2019, President of the Republic of Serbia and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vučić and Airbus Chief Executive Officer Bruno Even have officially unveiled the first of nine Airbus H-145M helicopters equipped with our weapons. Also, the Airbus CEO ceremonially handed over the Certificate approving Moma Stanojlović Aviation Institute as Service Centre for Gazelle helicopter.
After the ceremony, the Airbus CEO handed over the “key” of the helicopter to the Serbian president, who then handed it over to General Milan Mojsilović, Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin, Assistant Minister of Defence for Material Resources, Nenad Miloradović, and AF&AD Commander, Major General Duško Žarković.
President Vučić emphasised that a total of nine helicopters should arrive – five for the Serbian Armed Forces and four for the Police.
- We ordered three more Super Puma helicopters. These are the best and most expensive helicopters we could have ordered. We ordered a total of 12 aircraft from Airbus, and we are going to order more of them. This year we will receive helicopters in greater amounts than those we had in the arms of the Serbian Armed Forces and the Police in the previous period and previous decades, and then it will be clear to you how much Serbia has progressed in financial terms, how much it can equip itself for emergency situations and how much it can achieve better conditions for preserving its integrity and defending its country, President Vučić said.
He thanked Airbus for the cooperation so far and emphasised that he hoped for even better cooperation in the future - “you not to delay and we to pay in time”.
- Serbia has a reputation in the world because it pays its obligations without any delay. This is a huge difference in relation to all that we had before. Nobody ever wanted to work with us before, because they knew that we did not have a coin in the pocket, and on the other hand we would never pay anything in time. For these nine helicopters H-145M we gave EUR 105 million, and the state of Serbia pays without any delay. We are proud of this and I do not hide it from you. We are proud because of the fact that we owe nothing to anyone, we pay all obligations, we behave as a responsible state. Mr Even will have much more to deal with us, to the satisfaction of the workers and the leadership of Airbus, and to our satisfaction, we will have much more work to do with them. I am proud of our country, which managed to get out of the deep crisis in a relatively short time and today it is a reliable partner to all the best, most powerful and most important world companies such as Airbus. This is what the citizens of Serbia deserved, the president of the Republic concluded.
According to Bruno Even, in the year when this company celebrates 50 years of existence, another reason for celebration and satisfaction is the cooperation with the Republic of Serbia. He pointed out that several months ago, President Vučić promised that Airbus would do everything it could to deliver the first helicopter in time, and expressed great happiness and satisfaction that this promise was fulfilled.
Today's ceremony was organised on the occasion of handing over the first of nine helicopters H-145M. As an integral part of the agreement on procurement of H-145M helicopters, Industrial Cooperation Project provides for the support by the Airbus company to our production and scientific and research institution in acquiring qualifications and certificates and enables participation in a wide range of cooperation opportunities of the Airbus Company.
For the Ministry of Defence, the most important projects in the part of industrial cooperation are those related to the improvement and certification of the capacities of Moma Stanojlovic Aviation Institute for the maintenance and production of parts of Gazelle helicopter, which is to be officially confirmed by ceremonial handing over of the Certificate to Moma Stanojlović Aviation Institute.
Today's ceremony included also the signing of the Service Centre Agreement between Miroslav Mijatović, a representative of the PE Yugoimport-SDPR, Colonel Despot Janković, Director of Moma Stanojlović Aviation Institute, and Thomas Haine, a representative of the Airbus company.