Such courtesy visits are extremely common. My sister, for example, once flew to Rio de Janeiro to spend a week seeing the city with her boyfriend, while his ship (a Royal Navy frigate) was in port. By your calculation, that makes Rio de Janeiro a Royal Navy base. I think the Brazilian government would be surprised to hear that.
Yes, I know the Turks helped Albania refurbish the base, but that's no big deal. IIRC they gave about $10 million, which is small change in such matters. It made the place useful again, for its main users - the Albanian navy. IIRC Greece has also given money & technical help to restore the Albanian navy.
Last edited by swerve; 10th March 2010 at 10:51.
Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
One NATO-member with most of its "enemies" in the NATO too or in real a country with huge internal problems to disract the public from own shortcomings.
The economics of Serbia in mind, it will be capable to run a squadron of second-hand MiG-29s or F-16s utmost. The only future option for something new is the JF-17, when the related engine is well known f.e.. All that is more than enough for the national air-policing task and be the core force for later growth.
wow. I think I'd know if there was a Turkish submarine base in my country. But then again, why would I know such a thing?You are wrong, it is very true, doesn't have to do with greek media. But given that you are right on the off topic part, you can believe whatever you want anyway.
On or off-topic you made a pretty wrong claim there.
There is one thing we have to clear up once and for all. Serbia cannot plan her security and defence policy with a conflict against NATO in mind. This is ridiculous on a number of levels and I shouldn’t even have to say it. Furthermore, the current state of neutrality is probably the best foreign policy move of any government (Yugoslav or Serbian) since the death of Tito. Understandably, considering the recent history of the region, nobody is taking this stance seriously – not the Russians and not the West. However, this is just a matter of overcoming collective political memories and of Serbia sticking to her guns (so to speak). Neutrality carries with it a number of benefits, the main one which is that it helps Serbia to avoid being a target for anybody’s future sabre-rattling. Should Serbia join NATO she would be one of the Alliance’s weakest members and also the one which Russia would be most eager to teach a lesson. This is obviously unlikely to manifest itself as a military attack but could easily result in greater political instability (as Russia switches to supporting local political parties that would try to pull out of NATO or at least cease to cooperate fully – a la France in the late 50s). Russia would also almost certainly put economic pressure on the country, something Serbia is poorly positioned to withstand. Finally, espionage and subversive infiltration of Serbia would be another unfortunate side effect. All of these things hold true if Serbia attempts a swing in the other direction (simply switch NATO and Russia in the preceding sentences).
Now, assuming Serbia isn’t arming to fight another war against NATO and that her leaders remain clever enough to maintain a stout military neutrality, what then is the purpose of having fighter aircraft anyway? I would argue that retaining a credible air force is an important policy. My arguments would be as follows:
1. The primary role of fast jets in Serbia at the moment and for the foreseeable future is air policing. Now, clearly the MiG-29s operated now are too few in number to perform this role effectively and that’s why the ‘21s are still around – though they are in no state to soldier on. This, however, does not equate to a pressing need to purchase or lease new aircraft. Even if Serbia is forced to rely only on the Fulcrums in the near future this would not be the end of the world. Firstly, for a number of targets in the air policing role the G-4s and J-22s are sufficiently fast and can perform the duties required of them. Secondly, the air force is supplemented by the air defence units. This, in combination with a couple of Fulcrums is really enough to perform peacetime air policing in Serbia – especially considering the fact that all her neighbours are in NATO, resulting in a significantly reduced need for high intensity air policing. Basically, air policing alone is not enough of a reason for Serbia to purchase new combat aircraft but is an argument for hanging on to current capabilities.
2. The second important reason, and one which does perhaps suggest a need for the procurement of new jets, is the necessity of maintaining capability and know-how for a future threat environment. Serbia’s current situation, that of a small and relatively frail (militarily and politically) state smothered on all sides by NATO’s currently warm embrace, does not look like being a permanent one. As we saw in the early Autumn ‘08, states that perceive themselves to be militarily competent are capable of doing crazy things and taking on even those much more powerful than themselves. Serbia is in close proximity to several countries that are potential candidates for this kind of behaviour in the future (and that bear grudges that could easily resurface) and should maintain not only a deterrent but also a credible defensive capability. With that in mind, continuity of operation of fast jets is highly desirable and brings with it a number of benefits. The benefits include maintaining a cadre of pilots able to pass on their knowledge and to, potentially, export it (in the sense that foreign air forces may be willing to send their cadets to Serbia for training). This goes for the logistics and ground crews too. The obvious negative side of this is that it is a massive expense that Serbia cannot really afford and that the vast majority of this money is destined to go abroad without providing jobs or broadening the experience of local industry and manpower. Sure, Serbian companies could develop peripheral systems but this seems unlikely and is, in any case, a tiny fraction of the overall cost. This negative side is impossible to counter – it is simply something Serbia will have to put up with one day.
So, if Serbia is to continue to operate a meaningful air force, what should this look like? Obviously it will need 12 – 24 modern fast jets eventually in order to perform in the roles mentioned in the above arguments and to provide some semblance of a precision deep-strike (in the very local, Balkan sense) capability*. Whether these end up being F-16s or Gripens or Fulcrums is almost irrelevant – the only important factor would be that they outperform (or at least outnumber) aircraft operated by potential local rivals (i.e. in all probability not including Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary or Greece). The only thing we can be sure of is that a purchase is not imminent. Neither should it be – it should, in my opinion be delayed as long as the economy is in such a fragile state.
As for ground attack or CAS capability, here something really does need to be done. This is why talk of procuring new aircraft really makes me angry. A much more urgent need would be the modernisation of existing ground attack assets. Specifically, I would like to see the following happen (in the order shown):
1. Helicopters, especially the Gazelles and Hinds, need to be upgraded with TI equipment and otherwise be made fully night capable. They should also be fitted with the best defensive suites money can buy/local industry can supply. This would enable them to operate alongside army and Ministry of Internal Affairs personnel in the Security Zone along the border with Kosovo and to provide crucial intelligence** about the movement of potentially subversive elements across the border – especially at night. They could also operate in a supporting combat role should hostilities escalate in this region.
2. Existing Serbian UAV programmes need to be significantly improved in order to support such operations. Israeli UAVs are okay but really Serbia should be looking to make them locally in as much as that is possible.
3. The ground attack component of the air force should be modernised to make it able to operate at night and to deliver precision munitions relevant to CAS. If what the air force top brass says is true, that the airframes and engines can soldier on for a good while longer, then a modernisation programme is critical. The G-4s should be relatively easy to modernise – a programme already exists and needs to be implemented faster even if this means delaying the purchase of a new combat aircraft. The only problem I can see with the existing G-4M programme (or whatever they’re calling it now) is that it doesn’t provide acceptable night-fighting capability. This should be addressed. As for the J-22s – these are a bit more difficult. The fantasies of Serbian fanboys aside, the Orao’s nose won’t take a radar but it might (with perhaps French or Israeli assistance) take a FLIR. If integrated with precision munitions this could keep the J-22s relevant to Serbia’s needs for the next decade or so. Any upgrade of J-22s or G-4s must include a comprehensive overhaul of the navigation and communication equipment - as this is currently woeful.
These upgrade programmes are more pressing than procurement of foreign kit as they represent an investment in the technology and know-how base of the country and also significantly improve Serbia’s ability to defend herself against both the unconventional threat or cross-border subversion (should that arise or increase) and of local conflicts with relatively evenly-matched neighbours.
* This is important, in my view, because Serbia is currently in unable to strike at valuable targets within a potentially hostile neighbour’s territory. In the event of open conflict with a local adversary, the ability to hit targets (such as, for example, munitions factories or fuel storage facilities) deep in the opponent’s territory could be a war-winning force multiplier.
** In a manner not necessarily too dissimilar to the operation of civilian police helicopters in urban areas.
As I recollect reading mission reports from operation allied force, Serbian J22s were the only Serbian airplanes successfully conducting their missions during NATO sky domination. J22s had not been detected and engaged by NATO fighter jets, which iis possible only if they were flying extremly low. As I recollect ground attack mission were conducted during the night, so it would imply that J22 has night mission capability.
How many dedicated ground attack jets Serbia has operational at this moment ?
About air Greece's air policing, no I do not have to do research, logic of that kind decisions are rational, not stupid, and if you can not see possible motives behind it, it's not worth it. I would not continue on that topic, as you find it emotional, I find it not relevant. Hope you can find your justice on next elections.
I would prefer locally manufactured PGM because knowledge and prototypes are already there .
UAV prototypes are also available so Serbia should start making them.
As far as fighter force is concerned MiG-29 (35) will do fine.
One more thing ,above assets are important but transport aviation should also be beefed up , primarily with as many transport helicopters as possible . Political situation does not allow to maintain massive force in Security Zone so it would be good if there is capability to ferry emergency force to security zone rapidly (or go deeper if necessary) like in good old times when 63rd airborne had 20 Mi-8 plus minimum 4 -5 An-24 available at any time for rapid deployment.
Those where the times
, waking up to the noise of An-24 turboprops .....ahh good old times
Serbia could use 48 FC1's very nicely. They are close friends with China. They do have good relations with Pakistan. The only problem I see is that Russia does not want to export its engines (Fc1 with rd93) to nations where it competes with its own Mig29. And Serbs do have a very good relation with Russia. Migs are nice but it would be nicer to see exotic planes in Europe.
Sorry to but in, chaps.
landlocked countries like Serbia and even Austria don't need something sophisticated. They simply need something that can chase out stray aircraft and quite frankly, a light fighter is good enough for their needs. be it JF-17, Tejas, or Gripen.
When it comes to small nations building their own fighters, the only recent example is Sweden and to that I believe any other small nations efforts in this field should be compared.
An interesting note from Swedens Gripen project is the recommendations that FMV (Försvarets Materielverk - Defence materiel administration) came up with in 1981 (the partial report was handed in october 13th), regarding the economic viability of idigenous development and production of a new fighter. Their recommendations were as follows:
* If less than 100 aircraft is to be purchased, the choise should be (a direct purchase of) F-16s
* If 100-200 is to be procured a licence production of F-18s is the best option.
* With more than 200-300 [sic!] aircraft an indigineous option is economical
When it came to final decisions in 1989-90 FMV claimed that at least 250-300 aircraft needed be produced to justify indigenous production.
With prices escalating I think it's safe to say that indigineous production is only an option when you have an indigenous demand in exess of 300 fighters. Sweden had that at the time. Serbia today has not. One wonders if they could afford a tenth of those numbers.
Last edited by swedishcat; 11th March 2010 at 21:55.
Nobody said the Gripen was out. But as said before the NG will incorporate American engine and that may certainly become a liability if relations with the US get cold. Even if we are talking of the C/D, getting some advanced missiles could present another problem.
When speaking of the Tejas, we have to understand that the Mk1 is just getting inducted into the IAF (and that number will stop at 40 IIRC), and the top brass is not fully satisfied about it, while the Mk2, which is planned in higher numbers is still conducting tests. While it may be an interesting option about 2015 and later (assuming that the IAF will reserve all early slots in order to increase their squadron strength), it certainly isn't one in the next two years. And if the Mk2 gets powered with an engine made by a certain General Electric, then the SrAF is getting into the very same problem it may have with the Gripen NG.
The JF-17 may seem as an attractive option and I'm not really much informed on its capabilities.
Serbia still has a decent number of usable airframes of G-4's and J-22's and with a modernization package these birds would get all the SrAF needs for its ground attack,CAS and even air policing duty. But still a true fighter jet couldn't be replaced by already mentioned ground attack planes.
Basic problem with Fulcrums (there are 4 of them now - one has crashed in the meantime) isn't the lack of money but rather its (proper) distribution.
Now when you have nicely cleared that up we can carry on with the thread.
As far as non existent enemy is concerned ...well that is good , last thing Serbia need is another war ...but.....you never know what can and will happen in the future . Are we going to have security umbrellas like EU and NATO . Economies are weak and when it comes to money , then people starts behaving in funny and un predictable way ...they will do all they can to get / save money ..so if this continues to go as it is who is it to say that one day NATO will not collapse because it will be unaffordable or EU will continue with Euro as single currency ...already there are voices that are saying why do we need to pay fro Greece ....how many more cases we will have in the future . EU could then easily go away .....and what will replace , in this hypothetical scenario , those two organisationS? Who knows , but you can be sure nothing good will come out of it , only chaos and misery . That is why states are investing in to their militaries .
Ok another hypothetical scenario , NATO and EU are gone , western european nations are in even more financial problems , they are accusing each other of wrongdoing and destroying Euro and European dream , they are looking inward because they all have high unemployment , strikes , basically it is a misery . At the same time Albania see that as opportunity to expand an take Western Macedonia and Eastern Monte Negro and de facto annex it to Albania , same as with Kosovo. Bulgaria see chance to take Eastern Macedonia for it self ...so you have Macedonian government screaming for help , only there is no NATO to put foot on the Bulgarian and Albanian brake. So Macedonian government calls for help ...who are they going to call ? Most likely Serbia . Greece will then push for Macedonia to re unite with Serbia and by doing that they will be again direct neighbours with their Serbian allies and Macedonia as name will again become just internal name and that will resolve Greek objections .
Of course Bulgaria might object so since Serbia is helping Macedonia there you have potential for conflict .
I know , I know it is just me saying a story , but stranger things have happened in the past .
interesting. Out of all Serbia's neighbors, Bulgaria possesses a more potent air force (2nd to Hungary). What kind of plans has Serbia traditionally had against possible Bulgarian expansion?Bulgaria see chance to take Eastern Macedonia for it self ...so you have Macedonian government screaming for help , only there is no NATO to put foot on the Bulgarian and Albanian brake. So Macedonian government calls for help ...who are they going to call ? Most likely Serbia . Greece will then push for Macedonia to re unite with Serbia and by doing that they will be again direct neighbours with their Serbian allies and Macedonia as name will again become just internal name and that will resolve Greek objections .
Of course Bulgaria might object so since Serbia is helping Macedonia there you have potential for conflict .
Bulgaria has always been looked at with distrust... especially since they have historical habit of stabbing us in the back when we least expect it.
.. and last year when they made firm promise to Serbia to vote on our side in the international court.. and then voted against us in the last moment...
All of the Backstabs above came from pretense of friendship.... In fact we have had more wars with Bulgaria than any other Nation including Croats,Albania even Germany ,Austria and Turkey.
... All that said... right now there is no thension with Serbia and Bulgaria.. apart the above mentioned case in international court. Bulgaria - FYROM... is a whole another matter... but this time around people in Serbia do not give a damn what happens to FYROM... and rightfully so. We got our own problems.
So in short, while in the past Kingdoms of Serbia/Kingdoms of Yugoslavia, and SFRJ (Tito) always kept a worrying aye on Bulgaria, (with good reason) and always made sure that militarily we could counter them or preferably out match... right now they are non issue for us.. and we have no need to "match them"... or anybody in the region... bar maybe Croats.
I've been told by Bulgarians that Serbia regularly stabbed them in the back, e.g. 1885 (looking it up, it is a remarkably blatant example of back-stabbing) & the First Balkan War, & that their actions in the Second Balkan War, First World War, etc. were merely attempts to get restitution. I think this shows the futility of using such an argument. I suggest you do not pursue it further.
Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
actually, who did what to whom is less relevant than the fact that serbs and bulgarians have a history of conflicts that can make them both feel unsecure about their neighbour.. and right now, serbia is at a disadvantage in the air to air department, which is the whole point D.J. was making:
they need a competent air force, not to take on NATO as a whole (might be a bit difficult task for a 6 million people country ), but to deter any eventual "neighborhood tension", of which the most probable are the one with bulgaria and, eventually, croatia (considering what happened by the end of the 20th century)
And I am not at all suprized they have that view, nor do I wish to pursue any historical debate on backstabbing further, though i would argue 1885 was more of a stab in the face rather than backstab :diablo:.
I was only trying to answer question asked about relationship of two, which like everything else in that part of the world,,,, is very complicated.
Regarding Bul AF... I would not consider 16-20 odd Fulcrums (upgraded as they are) and two dozen Fishbeds as significant domination of the Region. Though bar Greece it would be technically strongest AF in region... though some might consider upgraded 48 od Romanian fishbeds as decent match.
Frankly, assessments of the threat posed by either Bulgaria or Romania are, in my opinion, misplaced. The real threat(s) come from the former-Yugoslav states and Albania + Kosovo. This is where Serbia's interests overlap with those of other states and could, potentially, lead to conflict. Bulgaria and Serbia actually now have more common interests than perhaps at any other time in history. In any event, Serbia clearly has to modernise its military - or at least to start thinking about how to do this - even if there is no obvious source of conflict on the horizon.
Regarding what one 'nation' did to their neighbour - I'm with Swerve on this one in the sense that this sort of thing is only relevant if there are still major grievances that could lead to conflict in the future. This doesn't, as far as I am aware, fit the current state of Serbian-Bulgarian relations in the slightest.
I hope Serbia does not forget recent history and does not buy aircraft from countries who bimbed them in the last decade. Serbia needs a reliable partner and that can only be Russia. So SU-30s seem like a good option.
Member of ACIG
an unnamed Luftwaffe officer:"Typhoon is a warm weather plane. If you want to be operational at -20°C you have to deploy the F-4F."
SU30 is a terrible option for a country of such geographic size... they would hardly have space to park them
Like i said, if we could take the politics out.. gripen is a perfect fighter for our needs. Unfortunately we can not take politics out. Hence it has to be Mig29-35 or something from China.
Some seconhand mirage 2000s would be good as well.. while France was part of campaign they were not as "vocal" about it. They also have reputaition for standing up to Washington. Problem is Later model mirages like the ones from bahrain... cost as much as new migs
In about 1-2 years there will be 100-150 F-7P and soon F-7PG airframes available from PAF.
1) Relativleycheap to make NATO compatable as already have Grifo Radar and AIM-9M
2) Serb pilots know the MIG-21well
3) Ideal for policing role
4) PAF will certainly not want alot of money
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