Serbia has reorganised its air force with the formation of 204 air wing at Batajnica air base near Belgrade on 15 November. A second wing will be formed next year at Ladevci, central Serbia.

Batajnica combines flying, maintenance, logistics and support units under a single command. It includes one fighter squadron (merged from one Mikoyan MiG-21 and one MiG-29 squadron), a mixed squadron comprising Utva 75 basic trainers from now-abandoned Kovin airbase, G-4 Super Galeb advanced trainers/light attack aircraft and Aerospatiale SA341/342 Gazelle helicopters, a transport squadron operating Antonov An-26s, Yakovlev Yak-40s and Mil Mi-8 helicopters, and a reconnaisance flight equipped with MiG-21Rs.

The air force has introduced a new insignia and camouflage scheme, which has been applied to a MiG-21bis of 101 squadron (see picture). Serbian air force officials say the new structure "emphasises quality rather that quantity" and that new arrangement is "more economical".

Earlier this year, the Serbian government approved €30 million ($38 million) of funding for the air force. Commander-in-chief Col Dragan Katanic says a contractor will be selected in the next couple of weeks to perform MiG-29 overhauls.

Following Serbia's separation from Montenegro in May, some aircraft, including most serviceable G-4s and more than a dozen SA341/2 Gazelles, were left at Podgorica airbase in Montenegro and their future is uncertain.

Source: Flight International