Serbia confirms acquisition of Chinese FK-3 air defense missile system: media
The FK-3, as the export version of the PLA's HQ-22, can significantly enhance Serbia's national defense capabilities, says Chinese analysts.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic reportedly confirmed, on Wednesday, that Serbia purchased a Chinese FK-3 air defense missile system, following reports that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force was delivering the air defense equipment via Y-20 large transport planes.
The FK-3, as the export version of the PLA's HQ-22, can significantly enhance Serbia's national defense capabilities at a time when NATO is dividing the world and could complicate the security situation around Serbia, according to Chinese analysts.
Serbia obtained the Chinese FK-3 air defense missile system in a transparent manner, in accordance with laws and regulations, and in accordance with procedures, according to Vucic, as reported by China Central Television (CCTV) on Wednesday.
However, other politicians accused Vucic of "arming the country through the hands of Europe's and NATO's competitors."
Vucic was quoted as saying in the CCTV report that Serbia has found its own path based on the will of its people, and the Serbian people are proud of themselves for protecting their own country rather than allowing NATO to do so in their names.
The CCTV report came after foreign media reported that a large number of the PLA Air Force's Y-20 cargo planes were spotted in Serbia on Saturday, with speculation claiming that the FK-3 air defense missile system was being delivered to the Serbian military.
It is worth mentioning that the FK-3 is an all-weather, medium-to-long-range surface-to-air missile system capable of performing missions in complex electromagnetic environments. According to promotional materials distributed at previous defense exhibitions, it can intercept targets such as fixed-wing aircraft, drones, cruise missiles, tactical air-to-ground missiles, and helicopters.
On his account, Wang Ya'nan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Wednesday, that the FK-3 missile system, as a medium-altitude air defense weapon comparable to the US Patriot air defense missile, can serve as a powerful deterrent against aircraft such as fighter jets and bombers on missions such as defense penetration, precision strikes, and bombing.
“It will play a very important role for Serbia at a time when the security situation in Europe is changing”, Wang added.
Analysts believe that because Serbia has been the target of air raids, it is natural for the country to invest in its air defense capabilities. NATO launched a 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999, killing thousands of people, including three Chinese citizens, and displacing hundreds of thousands.