Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft for Serbia – an initial agreement was reached

During a press conference held two days ago, on 9th April 2024, the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić officially disclosed that Serbia and France have reached a preliminary agreement on purchase of twelve Dassault Rafale fighter jets. The agreement was reached on the preceding day, during the bilateral meeting of the Serbian and French presidents in Paris.

Acquirement of the French fighter aircraft was one of the main topics discussed during the two-day visit of Aleksandar Vučić in France.

Since a few years, information related to potential purchase of Dassault Rafale jets by Serbia were appearing in official government releases, and then in Serbian media, on regular basis. At the beginning of 2023, Vučić disclosed to the local press that he was currently negotiating the purchase of twelve French fighters and the value of that contract was estimated for 3 billion EUR. The aforementioned information was then confirmed in June of that year, with additional note that price of the Rafale aircraft is still one of the most important issues.

The aforementioned yesterday´s statement of the Serbian President was made after a meeting held between Vučić, the French President Emmanuel Macron and other French officials, including representatives of Dassault Aviation, manufacturer of the Rafale fighters.

Dassault Rafale C, French Air and Space Force

Aleksandar Vučić stated that the official bilateral contract is expected to be concluded within two months, in the presence of the French President. Emmanuel Macron was also invited to visit Serbia in the next few months.

The acquirement of the Rafale fighter aircraft is another milestone in Franco-Serbian military cooperation that developed rapidly in recent years.

Until now, Serbia purchased a batch of H145M helicopters and two C295 tactical airlifters from Airbus, for a total price exceeding 170 million EUR. Another fifteen million EUR was spent on additional equipment, maintenance and spare parts, as well as crew training. Additionally, Serbia acquired eighteen French anti-aircraft systems Mistral, for yet undisclosed price.

Therefore, France is slowly becoming one of the most important cooperative partners for Serbia, replacing in that role the Russian Federation, which was the long-term, first trading partner for the Serbian Ministry of Defence. Especially that, according to information shared by Aleksandar Vučić and Emmanuel Macron during the joint press conference held after their summit in Paris, future cooperation with French companies is soon to be extended in a number of ways. It will include investment in transport infrastructure, energy and clean water solutions.

Rafale Solo Display at Sanicole Sunset 2017

Information from the Office of the President of the Republic of Serbia press releases were used.