Military of Serbia

Military of Serbia

Infobox National Military
name=Serbian Army
native_name=Serbian: Војска Србије or Vojska Srbije

branches=Land Forces
Air Force and Air Defense
commander-in-chief=President Boris Tadić
minister=Dragan Šutanovac
commander=Lt. General Zdravko Ponoš
commander_title=Commander of General Staff HQ
active=39,000 ranked 79th
amount=64 Billion RSD or 1.2 billion US $(2007)Fact|date=February 2008
percent_GDP=2.4% (2007)
history=Military history of Serbia
ranks=Serbian military ranks and insignia

The Serbian Armed Forces is the unified armed force that defends the Republic of Serbia and conducts other missions with respect to the constitution and laws of Serbia.

The Serbian Armed Forces basic tasks include:
* Defending Serbia from armed foreign threats.
* Participating in the process of building and maintaining peace in the region and across the world.
* Providing support in case of natural disasters and other catastrophes.


Strategic Defense Review is a project that was established in 2006 by the leading Serbian government officials to advocate modernizing of the Serbian Armed Forces. One of the major pillars of this project is the establishment of an all volunteer armed forces by 2010. In July 2006, a month after the official signing of the bill, a 77% volunteer brigade consisting of 1748 troops was established. Two months after, an unnamed all volunteer "special brigade" consisting of 1300 troops, was officially the first of its kind in Serbia.


The Serbian Army is organized at 3 levels: strategic, operational and tactical.Forces are organized on strategic, operational and tactical level and into commands, units and institutions. It is basically constituted of arms, branches, services. The Arms represent integrated branches and services which have relatively limited autonomy in warfare at land, sea and air. The Armed Forces of Serbia consist of land, air and training forces.
*Serbian Land ForcesArmy branches constitute: the infantry, armored units, artillery, engineering, air defense artillery missile units, aviation, navy, electronic reconnaissance and warfare. Army services can be general and logistics. Logistics services are: technical, procurement, medical, transport, vet, construction, and financial service.
*Serbian Air Force and Air DefenseGeneral army services are: intelligence, security, liaison, informatics, nuclear-biological-chemical, air reconnaissance and reporting, geodetic, hydro meteorological and hydro-navigational and legal service.

Since Serbia was the dominant partner in the former union with Montenegro, it has inherited the considerable bulk of the army and air force after Montenegro declared independence in 2006. However, as Serbia is landlocked, Montenegro inherited the coastal navy while Serbia was left with a flotilla which protects 3 major rivers in Europe. For more see: River Flotilla of Serbian Armed Forces.

erbian Land Forces

The Serbian Land Forces is the largest and the oldest army branch. Its organization, structure, armaments and equipment are tailored to activities conducted predominantly on the ground in its respectively assigned missions and tasks. Mani organization is based on Brigade/Battalion system. Land Forces compose from four land brigades, one combined-arms artillery brigade, and special brigade which is under command of Serbian Army General staff. There are also two military police battalions, NBCW battalion, signal battalion and river flotilla. The land forces brigades are main units of land forces and their duty is to defend their regions. Organization of LF Brigades is very similar, each compose from one command battalion, two infantry battalions, one tank battalion, two mechanized battalions, one self-propelled artillery battalion, one self-propelled rocket artillery battalion, one air defense battalion, one engineer battalion and one logistic battalion. Exclusion is the First LF battalion which have two pontoon instead of one infantry battalion. The combined-arms artillery brigade compose from three howitzer-cannon-artillery battalions, artillery rocket battalion and logistic battalion.

erbian Air Force and Air Defense

The Serbian Air Force is the youngest and the most advanced branch encompassing branches and services whose organization, structure, armaments and equipment are tailored to perform combat activities in aerial targets and on the ground. It consists of about 3,000 active personnel and 170 aircraft in 2 main bases, Batajnica and Lađevci. Although largely neglected, the air force is currently begun mass modernization to bring it up to standards. Air force is organized on Air Base/Squadron system, and it consist from two air bases and 7 squadrons and 7 ground units. One fighter squadron is equipped with Soviet-made MiG-21 and MiG-29 fighters, one squadron with domestic J-22 Orao attack aircraft, one squadron with Utva 75 and Super Galeb trainer aircraft, one squadron with Gazelle Gama anti-tank helicopters, one squadron with Mi-8 and Gazelle helicopters and one squadron with An-26 cargo aircraft and Mi-8 transport helicopters. The Air defense is organized like ground forces on Brigade/Battalion system and it consist from one air defense brigade. The main air defense systems are Kub-M and S-125 Neva which will be modernized in next years. There are also one signal battalion, one engineering battalion and Center for Air Reconnaissance.

According to a recent update, following improvements were made in over the last 12 month: overhaul of 15 planes, doubled flying hours for pilots, better financial status of pilots,


In late 2003, the Serbian Armed Forces began an ambitious task of mass modernization and reorganization of its entire structure. The first step of modernization was reorganizing all units and command structures to reduce the overall size of the army and make it more maneuverable and professional to respond to dangerous situations. This part of the reorganization plan was fully completed in under 13 months. The withdrawal of old and obsolete equipment and procurement of replacements is currently in the process. The Armed Forces are planning to move to a completely professional force and abolish conscription by 2010, operating at international standard (NATO) and participating in UN peacekeeping operations. The existing conscription is very unpopular among young Serbian people and many of them would see it as a violation of their human rights.

T-55 tanks and older logistical vehicles are currently in the process for being withdrawn and replaced. The withdrawn T-55s will be put on sale. T-72's will be used for training. A planned modernization of M-84 into M-2001 is also due. M-80A IFV's will be modernized to serve for a prolonged 10 years of service. The military has made plans to announce a tender for 200 8x8 wheel armored vehicles, likely choices are Patria AMV, BTR-90, Mowag Piranha or Pandur. [ Serbian Army needs 200 transporters] There are plans to obtain around 24-30 new fighter aircraft to replace the aging MiG-21 fleet which is due to retire around 2010, a tender for a replacement will be called for in 2011 and completed by 2014. [] The few Modernized MiG-29s will serve as primary air cover until its replacement is named. Serbia is also designing its own missile/UAV systems. Plans are also being made to obtain new transport helicopters and aircraft as well by 2011. The Air Force will also modernized 15 G-4 Super Galebs to G-4MD standard.


Serbian army is using various camouflage patterns. In year 2001 M-02 was introduced, with updated "Hrastov List" and new KARST pattern, but only in some special units. M-03 style uniform and new MDU camouflage pattern was introduced in 2006 after a year of extensive testings.

High-tech material used on M-03 offers better water resistance, very low visibility in visible specter and when using thermal, photo sensory and opto-electronic detection equipment.

The new Serbian MDU camouflage pattern is a five-colour pattern, comprising black, chocolate brown, Grey-green and medium green swathes on a light green background. The shapes have been elongated horizontally, however — presumably to meet NATO requirements. But even today the most common pattern used is M-93, officially-"Hrastov List", commonly called "Jigsaw" or "Puzzle". This 5 colored pattern was produced with lots of variations but primarily in two shades. One towards brown (fall, no snow winter) and one in green (spring, summer).

Serbian Army also uses NATO Woodland pattern, black uniforms for special forces units, white winter camouflages and many other different camouflage and color uniforms.

As for now, M-MDU03 it's primarily worn by the officers, professional soldiers, army special forces as well by regular army stationed at the administrative
Kosovo and Metohija border.

However, Serbian army has concluded that M-03 as well as MDU-03 camouflage doesn't meet requirements of Serbian army, and therefore it will not be issued as standard pattern. Serbian army is currently developing new combat, ceremonial, dress uniforms and digital pattern, which is expected to become a standard pattern in near future. Some official sources in the army are reporting new ceremonial and dress uniforms; there is also a project to digitize MDU and YPA(JNA) mountain sniper camouflage by the year 2010.

Civil Services

Blood Drive

Serbian Armed Forces have organized a blood donation campaign on 28th of May 2008 in order to boost the supply. According to the words of the head of the Blood Transfusion Institute of Serbia, Snezana Draskovic, in May 2008 the blood supply was below needed quantity. Due to the blood donations of the Serbian Armed Forces the blood supplies have reached the needed amount. []

Philanthropy Directed at the local Albanian Population

KFOR “East” have congratulated their colleagues from the Serbian Armed Forces on their humanity on several occasions. []

Free Medical Assistance

Medical units of Serbian Armed Forces are providing free medical assistance and water supply in remote Albanian dominate villages of Presevo and Bujanovac municipalities in South Serbia. Military doctors have recently visited villages of Mali Trnovac and Trstena. The reaction of the mayor of Mali Trnovac, Sabri Jukupi, as well as the inhabitants has been positive. For example, the mayor has extended “his gratitude to Serbia Armed Forces’ soldiers” and has stated that the medicine received has been very important to his family. []

urgical Emergencies

Lt. Col. Goran Stankovic of the Serbian Armed Forces, states the example from a year and a half ago when a 15-year old boy Jeton Malici from Presevo was helping his father in the woods in cutting down trees and accidentally hurt his leg with a chain saw. His father Skender brought him to the local military base Cvore. Captain I Class Jovica Bosanac provided first aid to the boy and then ordered that a military medical vehicle transport the boy to Presevo. After the boy had recovered, Jeton’s father brought sweets and refreshments for the soldiers and commanders. The members of 78th motorized brigade due to the inaccessibility of the terrain had to dig out 1.1 km long water canal. []

Road Construction

Unit of the 78th motorized brigade are credited for the construction of many roads. For example, the villagers of Muhovac, a remote village that is predominantly Albanian in South Serbia was inaccessible by cars before the 78th motorized brigade built the road. Another project in Trniste municipality where the unit has cleared several kilometers of roads that were mostly inaccessible. The the Serbian Armed Force members have repaired 8 km long road from Bujici to Ranitovac village, which earned them the gratitude of the local Albanian community. In addition, the military has built a road to a local mosque in South Serbia in the village of Ilince. []

International Cooperation


Bilateral military cooperation between China and Serbia are developing. This trend is increasing. Future projects could include military medical cooperation between the two countries. Two high-ranking military officials have underlined the traditional friendly ties between Serbia in China, as well as their common respect for the principles of international law. China has recently donated €500,000 for the development of Serbian Armed Forces. [] In the first stage of co-operation there was an exchange of experience related to the engagement of the army in helping civil authorities to cope with natural emergencies. Many Serbian troops are being educated in China. By the end of the year several more Serbian Officers will have the opportunity to attend training programmes in China. Also, Chinese troops are being educated in Serbia. Serbia offers the capacities of its Atomic Biological Nuclear Chemical Centre in Krusevac, the Centre for Peace Operations, and the educational capacities of its Military Academy. One Chinese officer is attending Military Medical Academy in Serbia. Two Chinese doctors have recently completed specialization training in the same facility.


The Greek defense journal Peripolis Hellenic Defense has reported military Special Forces from both Greece and Serbia have been holding joint exercises near Nis. This is a continuation of previous military cooperation between the two governments. Greece and Serbia have a long history of cooperation. During the wars in Yugoslavia there were Greek volunteer units alongside Serbian units. []


Serbian Defense Minister Boris Tadic signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Israel in July 2003. The MoU facilitated joint training exercises, intelligence exchanges and arms sales between the two countries. Cooperation has always been at a high level even in 90's during the breakup of Yugoslavia.


A co-operational agreement has been signed between Serbia and Ohio. Both sides are looking to improve their armies by exchanging military theory, modernizing standards, exchangeing medical support, training in simulation centers and public relations. 15 soldiers from the Serbian Armed Forces participated in the annual demonstration of NGO [] combat group training. Ohio National Guards' Commander General Gregory Wayt, leading a 40-member delegation visited Serbia in September of 2008. They performed military simulation training that improve command, public relations, medicine, air force and special units capabilities of both armies. A total of 21 activities were realized in 2007 which makes the simulation training between Serbia and Ohio as the most successful that the US has engaged in from a total of 56 countries. The simulation training was attended by President Boris Tadic and US Ambassador to Serbia Cameron Munter.


Defense minister Dragan Šutanovac confirmed that Serbia plans to "Strengthening military relations with Russia". He has stated that "Majority of Serbian arms and equipment are of Russian origin and that it is only natural to choose Russia as foreign support in upgrading of present and buying new weapons." lastly, Serbia will send more of its officers to be trained in Russia.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

A government embargo ended Yugoslavia's nuclear programme in 2003, but a number of facilities capable of supporting a nuclear programme remain. The former Yugoslavia's main nuclear institute was the Vinca Institute near Belgrade, and since the dissolution of the republic the appropriation of responsibility remains unclear between the federal level and the Serbian based Vinca Institute.

Peacekeeping operations

Serbia participates in peace operations under the UN auspices either as observers or by donating medical staff. They are deployed in small numbers on a number of United Nations Peace Support missions on the African Continent, including in Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia. The Serbian Armed Forces continues its active participation in peacekeeping operations.

Current peace keeping missions:
* Liberia: (UNMIL) - 6 officers as military observers;
* Côte d'Ivoire: (UNOCI) - 3 officers as military observers;
* Democratic Republic of Congo: (MONUC) - 2 doctor-officers and 4 medical technicians;
* Burundi: (ONUB) - 1 officer as a military observer;


ee also

*Military of Serbia and Montenegro
*Yugoslav Army
*Yugoslav Peoples Army

External links

* [ Serbian Ministry of Defense]
* [ Official Website]


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