Steel 2017 – marking the Day of the SAF, Victory and Europe
The Day of the Serbian Armed Forces, Victory and Europe was marked today by the central ceremony called “Steel 2017” at Nikinci ground, where competence of the Serbian Armed Forces units was displayed, as well as the reached level of development of the Serbian armament and defence equipment.
The display today at Nikinci ground was attended by the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, the Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, members of the Government, the President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska Zeljka Cvijanovic and members of the Government of the Republic of Srpska, the Slovenian Defence Minister Andreja Katic, the Serbian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff General Ljubisa Dikovic, representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, the diplomatic and military corps in the Republic of Serbia and numerous guests.
The ceremony “Steel 2017” was marked by firing live ammunition from more than 20 systems of the armament, defence equipment, artillery-missile systems, planes and helicopters of the Serbian Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior, the engagement of members of the Serbian Armed Forces Special Brigade and special units of the Ministry of the Interior.
In order to show that all segments of the display were dedicated to the presentation of the new equipment and manner of its use, the operation today was commanded from the operational centre of the command post of the brigade, whose “heart” was a mobile switching node, which enables crypto protected voice communication, data transfer and pictures of all subordinate units, neighbours and superior command.
With deafening noise and successfully hit targets, in the part of the ceremony related to the display of firing from small arms and armoured fighting vehicles, the multipurpose armoured vehicles “Milos” and “Lazar”, “Morava” and “Oganj” systems, the self-propelled howitzer “Nora”, the Air Defence self-propelled artillery-missile system PASARS, as well as the new model of the modular rifle had their best performance at Nikinci ground.
The anti-tank missile system “Alas” was presented to the general public for the first time. It is a multipurpose long-range guided missile system without direct visual contact with a target.
The modernized model of the tank M-84, the last current version of the modern combat tank developed on the basis of modification and modernization of the basic version of M-84, was shown.
The guests of the ceremony today has an opportunity to see the engagement of the anti-tank helicopter Gamma intended for the air fire support, neutralizing and disabling anti-tank combat devices and the points set by the engagement of the anti-tank missiles Malyutka, as well as the plane Eagle intended for engaging ground targets by the use of guided and unguided missiles and air bombs of different weight.
Within the display of the operational capabilities of the Serbian Armed Forces, there was the performance of the capabilities of the Military Police units in control of territory in an area of responsibility and resolving a hostage situation, the operational capabilities of some Serbian Armed Forces special units in collaboration with special anti-terrorist units of the Ministry of the Interior in counter-terrorism engagement, as well as the display of the capabilities of medical evacuation by air and land.
A tactical display of armament and equipment was prepared at Nikinci ground, as well as the exhibition of Yugoimport SDPR, which guests of the ceremony today could visit.
President Nikolic emphasized that citizens could see at the display today how Serbia takes care of the security of its citizens.
“You saw the production programme of Serbia, which rare countries, apart from the great weapons exporters, could be proud of, and also that Serbia is completely independent in protecting its territory, that it has developed or preserved the military science and only added the newly acquired knowledge. You also saw the level of competence and readiness of the Armed Forces members. If you know that each of us carries its fatherland in their heart and would give for it what their fathers gave, then it is absolutely clear that in these exercises, which are very serious, complex and involving many arms and services, we actually deter someone, who would think of doing some harm to Serbia and its citizens”, President Nikolic stressed.
Assessing the display today, President Nikolic highlighted that he was content with what could be seen at the display.
“During my mandate I was present at many exercises, which were mostly related to a service or branch of the army, but this was the multipurpose and very serious exercise, which can be only conducted by the serious army with the serious command”, the Serbian President said.
The President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik congratulated all participants on the successfully executed exercise, which demonstrated the capacity for the defence of Serbia and its nation.
The Serbian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff General Ljubisa Dikovic thanked the Serbian President on the high assessment of the display carried out today.
“We had an opportunity today to see something that is rarely presented to the public in the manner members of the Ministry of Defence and Serbian Armed Forces did, especially bearing in mind the fact that a great number of devices, which are still being developed and not in the operational use, were displayed. However, if you believe people who manipulate those devices, if you believe the equipment you develop, it is not a problem to conduct such a high-risk exercise”, General Dikovic pointed out.
The Chief of General Staff paid tribute to all participants of the exercise and added that better future would come for the Serbian Armed Forces.
“Today Serbia is the country which is capable of defending itself from security risks and I hope that everything we displayed today will be in the armament and equipment of the Serbian Armed Forces in a year or two, and it will make the Serbian Armed Forces stronger, more independent and absolutely in function of the Serbian foreign policy”, General Dikovic said.