The purchase of the HQ-22 (FK-3/KS-1C) missile defense system was included in state-run arms company Jugoimport SDPR’s annual report, submitted to the state Business Registers Agency last week and seen by Reuters.
Beijing sees Serbia as part of its One Belt, One Road initiative, which is aimed at opening new foreign trade links for Chinese companies. China has invested billions of euros in the Balkan country, mainly in soft loans, infrastructure and energy projects.
Serbia has bought a medium-range, radar-guided HQ-22 surface-to-air missiles from China in a new sign of deepening cooperation between Beijing and Belgrade.
State-run Yugoimport SDPR JP said in its annual financial report that Serbia ordered FK-3 surface-to-air missile weapon system with a range of 100 km and altitude from 50 to 27,000m. Belgrade is said to have bought three batteries of the system, local media reported.
The system is equipped with a semi-active radar guided missiles, the complex is based on the KS-1C air defense system, but, unlike the basic model, it is equipped with “wingless” missiles.
The radar system is based on H200 phased array radar. The radar has limited engagement capability, it can with only detect six targets and engage two targets with six missiles. The radar is effective at a high altitude capable of engaging fighter jet sized aircraft. The radar has never been tested against drones or cruise missiles.
Peoples Liberation Army used the system for trial purposes, but a adopted better system such as HQ-16 and HQ-9 anti-air system.
The KS-1 missile was developed for the PLA as a replacement for the HQ-2(a reverse-engineered copy of the Soviet S-75 Dvina. This launcher could be mounted on a 6×6 truck to increase system mobility or be emplaced in the standard fashion.
The latest variant of FK-3 is exported to Myanmar, Serbia and Thai Army. Myanmar also has licenses to assemble and produce some components of KS-1C locally at a military owned facility in Myanmar.
The new HQ-22 (FK-3/KS-1C) is an all-weather medium-long range air defense weapon system. The new surface-to-air missile weapon system can attack 3rd generation fighters, armed helicopter and medium and UAV and other aerodynamic targets. It is highly capable of anti-interference and mobile operation.
Yugoimport revealed that it had concluded 163 import deals with 31 countries for $ 620.3 million in 2019. “The largest part of the import operations relates to the modernization of MiG-29 aircraft, the possession of drones, and the HQ-22 (FK-3/KS-1C) air defense system.”
Last month, China delivered around six “Rainbow” CH-92A attack drones to Serbia. The wingspan of CH-92A is less than 10 meters. The flight range is 150km. The drone can fly at a height of 5km at a speed of up to 200 kmph.
Serbia, which hopes to join the European Union, declared military neutrality in 2006 and joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, though it does not seek full membership in the Western defense alliance.
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