Serbia has showcased its new FK-3 surface-to-air missile (SAM) defense system it bought from China during the Shield 2022 exercise at the military airport “Colonel-Pilot Milenko Pavlović “in Batajnica.
The export variant of China’s medium range HQ-22 system was officially revealed for the first time on Saturday after 12 Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Y-20 airlifters delivered them at the Nikola Tesla Airport on April 9 and 10.
A total of four FK-3 batteries were acquired, according to Serbia’s defense minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, who attended the drill alongside a number of other high-ranking officials, including the country’s president Aleksandar Vucic.
FK-3 is a slightly downgraded variant of the HQ-22, which entered service in the People’s Liberation Army in 2017. HQ-22 missiles can engage targets at altitudes of up to 27 km and have a stated range of up to 170 km. Guided by semi-active radar, the missiles are designed to ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as aircraft, helicopters and UAVs.
The version acquired by Serbia features standard slanted launchers, photos shared on Saturday showed.
According to the defense ministry, Shield 2022 saw the FK-3 provide air defense against MIG-29 fighters, Orao (Eagle) attack aircraft and G-4 jet trainers, as well as Soviet attack attack helicopters.
Defense for the FK-3 was simulated by the Pantsir S-1 medium-range surface-to-air missile system Serbia earlier acquired from Russia.
Chinese CH-92A armed unmanned aerial systems (UAS) Serbia received in July 2020 were also part of the drill, joining 60 other fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. A total of 1,000 armed forces personnel were involved in the maneuver that was designed to showcase basically the entire inventory of the Serbian armed forces.