Airbus H125M Single-Engine Armed Scout Helicopters
Airbus H125M Single-Engine Armed Scout Helicopter

Serbia Engages in Discussions with Airbus for Armed H125M Helicopters and SiRTAP UAS

Serbia and Airbus are currently engaged in discussions regarding a potential collaboration for the joint production of the armed version of the Airbus H125M helicopter and the Airbus SiRTAP tactical unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in Serbia. Nenad Miloradovi?, the Assistant Minister for Material Resources in the Serbian Ministry of Defence (MoD), revealed these ongoing talks in a television interview on July 9th. The H125Ms could potentially replace the aging Yugoslav/SOKO-manufactured Aérospatiale Gazelles, of which 45 are still in service with the Serbian Armed Forces. In addition, the SiRTAP system would enhance Serbia’s existing inventory of Chinese-made CH-92 and CH-95 armed UAS, as well as the domestically co-developed Pegaz (Pegasus) armed UAS in collaboration with China.

The primary objective for Belgrade is to maximize the involvement of the Serbian defense industrial complex in the production of aeronautical components and weapon systems for Airbus-designed and manufactured aircraft. Serbian officials are also focused on securing a stable and sustainable business arrangement for the Moma Stanojlovi? aeronautical plant, which is responsible for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) activities and is located in Batajnica. This military MRO facility already receives support from Airbus for conducting heavy maintenance and ensuring the airworthiness of the Gazelles. Miloradovi?’s announcement follows his leadership of a national delegation to the Paris Air Show 2023, where he engaged in discussions with Airbus regarding various projects.

SiRTAP tactical unmanned aircraft system (UAS)
SiRTAP tactical unmanned aircraft system (UAS). (Photo by Airbus)

The Airbus Helicopters H125M (formerly the AS550 C3e Fennec) lightweight, multipurpose military helicopter manufactured by Eurocopter Group (now Airbus Helicopters). The Airbus Helicopters H125M helicopter meets military requirements for a cost-effective armed rotorcraft platform with a very small footprint and excellent maneuverability. The H125M can adopt different configurations and can be equipped with different weapon systems. Airbus’ HForce weapons system is a comprehensive, modular and cost-efficient weapon system that can be used on any military version of Airbus’ civil helicopter range (H125M, H145M and H225M). Capable of flying discreetly in the battlefield environment with its small silhouette, the H125M has a reduced radar signature through the use of composite materials and infrared-reflective paint.

Launched in 2015, following an initial request from Spain and later on joined by Colombia, Airbus has been leading the SirTAP (Sistema RPAS Táctico de Altas Prestaciones) program – previously known as the Atlante 2 MALE drone– aimed at creating a tactical unmanned aerial vehicle suited for intelligence gathering and surveillance. Its dual applications will offer a wide array of missions tailored to the operational needs of customers both in the institutional and governmental markets. SIRTAP will operate under any weather conditions, thanks to an ice protection and high temperature amplitude system, it can operate between -40?C to +50?C. With over 20 hours endurance and flying at an altitude of 21,000 feet, the tactical UAS is fit for day/night and maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, providing rapid response for close target inspection.

H125M lightweight military helicopter
H125M lightweight military helicopter. (Photo by Airbus)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.