Serbia’s Military Technical Institute (MTI) has showcased its latest achievement in the defense technology arena by unveiling an upgraded member of the PASARS-16 family of self-propelled anti-aircraft gun and missile systems. This remarkable unveiling took place at the prestigious Partner 2023 defense exhibition in Belgrade. The star of the show, the newly developed PASARS-16 variant, boasts a range of cutting-edge features that make it a formidable asset in the defense arsenal. At the heart of this system is Rada’s RPS-42 radar, commonly known as the Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar, which provides unparalleled situational awareness and target acquisition capabilities. One of the standout features of the PASARS-16 is its single-barrel 40 mm L/70 Bofors autocannon, which is now believed to incorporate an advanced electro-optical targeting system. This enhancement significantly improves the system’s accuracy and tracking capabilities, ensuring more effective engagement of airborne threats.
MTI is actively developing programmable airburst munitions tailored to neutralize small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and quadcopters efficiently. This innovation further bolsters the system’s ability to safeguard against contemporary threats. In a nod to the evolving battlefield, the PASARS-16 comes equipped with a comprehensive UAV jamming suite. Positioned above this suite is a small Doppler radar that meticulously measures the velocity of rounds exiting the cannon. This real-time data feeds into the fire-control system, optimizing the L/70’s accuracy and targeting precision. The PASARS-16 also demonstrates versatility by incorporating two sets of surface-to-air missiles. On one side of the turret, it features a pair of Mistral 3 ER (extended-range) man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADSs), while on the other side, it carries a pair of Strela-2MA MANPADS. This strategic arrangement balances the cost-effectiveness of Strela-2 systems with the superior capabilities of the Mistral 3, catering to diverse operational needs.
The PASARS-16, based on the FAP 2026BS/AV six-wheel drive off-road military chassis, exemplifies Serbia’s commitment to advancing its defense capabilities. The integration of state-of-the-art technologies and weaponry showcases the nation’s dedication to maintaining a robust defense posture in an ever-evolving threat landscape. MTI initiated the development of the PASARS-16, with serial production commencing in 2019. Collaborative efforts by Zastava TERVO, FAP, PPT Namenska, and Srboauto have brought this remarkable system to fruition. The primary armament, the Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft autocannon, traces its roots back to Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors, with Serbian manufacturer Zastava Arms obtaining the license to produce the L/70 version. The autocannon is complemented by ammunition from Serbian company Sloboda.
Moreover, a significant milestone was reached in 2020 with the introduction of programmable airburst ammunition, featuring 1100 tungsten pellets, further enhancing the system’s anti-aircraft capabilities. The PASARS-16 also integrates a laser rangefinder and a day/night sighting system. In 2021, the Serbian Armed Forces acquired 18 sets of 50 French Mistral 3 missiles, which are currently being integrated into the PASARS-16. These modifications enhance the missile’s propulsion, warhead, and homing system, making it a potent air-defense asset. The unveiling of the upgraded PASARS-16 at Partner 2023 underscores Serbia’s dedication to maintaining a cutting-edge defense capability, capable of countering a wide array of contemporary threats. This system’s adaptability and advanced features solidify its place as a key player in Serbia’s defense strategy, offering protection against low-flying aircraft, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other emerging projectiles on the modern battlefield.