Last year, the Government of Serbia invested around 460 million euros in the modernization of the armed forces, while this year around 616 million are planned for the same purpose.
According to data from the final budget account in 2022, Serbia spent about 460 million euros for the procurement of weapons and various other techniques and needs of the armed forces.
“This amount includes all types of weapons, motor vehicles, medical equipment for the Military Medical Academy and the military health system, replenishment of war material reserves, and more.”
The data on procurement in Serbia is confidential and that is why the structure and quantity of military equipment procured is not known, but that the economic classification 512 in the budget, which refers to “machinery and equipment”, can be used to estimate the volume of procurement, as and the annual report on the operations of the public company Jugoimport SDPR.
“For 2022, the value of imports is 162 million dollars. Of that amount, about 85 percent is directly for the needs of the Serbian Armed Forces, and the rest is for the production of companies that are indirectly related to domestic military needs because they are components for domestic weapons,” the text reads.
It is added that Jugoimport SDPR sold within the country goods worth 69 million dollars, which are mainly military equipment for the Serbian Army – Miloš and Lazar 3 armored fighting vehicles and Nora-B52 self-propelled howitzers.
“The share of investments in Serbia’s defense budget is twice as high as the standard in NATO. It is considered a high investment when 20 percent of the budget goes to weapons and infrastructure, and in our country almost 40 percent of the budget in 2022 was spent only on investments in technology. This high level of investment shows that extensive modernization of the Serbian Armed Forces is underway.”
According to the budget for the year 2023, it is planned to allocate around 1.37 billion euros for military needs, of which 616 million are classified under classification 512 (“machinery and equipment”).
“Since 2016, the actual value of purchases has always been higher than originally planned in the budget, and last year 436.6 million euros were planned. The budget was initially reduced to 388.2 million euros in the part under classification 512, but in the end 460 million euros were spent,” the text reads.