Serbia has received another 30 T-72B1MS tanks and an equal number of BRDM-2MS amphibious armored vehicles from Russia.
The latest batch of vehicles, which were handed over in conjunction with the Serbian-Russian exercise Joint Response 2021, brings the total number of the modernized tanks Russia handed over to the Balkan state to 41.
The first batch of tanks and armored vehicles was handed over to Serbia in November 2020, as part of a larger donation that is expected to include Mig-29 aircraft.
The latest donation is worth around 75 million euros, according to the Serbian defense ministry.
It should be noted that the exercise Joint Response ran in parallel with the large US Army-led exercise Defender-Europe 2021, which is taking place all across Europe, including countries neighboring Serbia.
As we previously wrote, the T-72B1MS tanks are a considerable improvement for the Serbian armed forces. They have a 125 mm smoothbore gun and a 12,7 mm remote-controlled weapon station. They benefit from upgraded electronics, a new navigation system, and the Sosna-U thermal gunner sight. In addition to Serbia, Russia donated the T-72B1MS version of the tanks to Laos and Nicaragua.
T-72B1MS tanks weigh 44.5 tons, have a maximum speed of 60 km/h, and carry 42 125mm rounds.
On the day of the hand-over, Russian and Serbian special operations forces held a joint exercise at the Orešac training ground.
Russian ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Harchenko said the maneuvers on Sunday, May 23, showed that the military-technical cooperation between the two countries was firm and set for further expansion.
Serbian defense minister Nebojša Stefanović added that he expects the modernization of the country’s armed forces, as well the cooperation with Russia, to continue.