PICTURE: Serbian air force gets refurbished helicopters

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The Serbian air force is to make the first additions to its equipment inventory in almost 20 years, with two overhauled Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters poised for introduction.

Pictured in late August before their handover for active use, the aircraft were previously flown by the Serbian ministry of interior's infamous special operations unit. They were transferred to the defence ministry in 2006, along with two Mi-24 assault helicopters, but have only now been brought to serviceable condition.

Carrying the serial numbers 12550 and 12551, the Mi-17s will join the air force's 138th composite transport squadron at Batajnica-Belgrade air base.

mi-17s serbian air force, igor salinger
© Igor Salinger/Aeromedia.com

The Serbian air force already flies a handful of Mi-8Ts, and new Mi-17 variants are eyed as the most probable choice for any future purchase of new transport helicopters. The nation is looking to modernise its armed forces under a process linked to its planned accession to the European Union.

Serbia's other most recent air force equipment were several Soko S4 Super Galeb jet trainer/light attack aircraft delivered in 1992. Fourteen remain in operational use, as listed in Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.