The Chinese official said that the aircraft carriers were transporting “conventional military resources” when referring to the group of planes that followed one another to Serbia.
“China has mobilized airlifters to transfer conventional military resources in the past few days, in order to realize the plan of bilateral cooperation. This move is not aimed at a third party and has nothing to do with current developments,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference in Beijing yesterday.
Chinese officials do not confirm, but also do not deny, information that the country is handing over FK-3 air defense systems to the country. Serbia.
Global Timesthe newspaper of People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, previously reported that Y-20 aircraft carriers were delivering FK-3 systems to Serbia.
The FK-3 is an export version of the Chinese-made HQ-22 long-range air defense system. Each complex includes three launchers, a radar station, a command post and many technical support vehicles. Chinese military experts said that Serbia has ordered three FK-3 systems and needs about 12 Y-20 strategic transports to deliver all the weapons.
Photos circulating on social media on April 10 show Chinese Y-20 transport planes landing at Nikola Tesla airport in the Serbian capital Belgrade a day earlier. Data provided by Flightradar24 and ADSBexchange shows that the group of Chinese aircraft flew over the airspace of two NATO member countries, Turkey and Bulgaria.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced last week that he would introduce the “latest pride” of the army on April 12 or 13. He said China and Serbia agreed on the sale of FK-3 air defense missiles from 2019, but did not confirm whether these complexes have arrived in Serbia.
The original HQ-22 system can hit targets from a distance of 170 km and a maximum altitude of 27 km. The HQ-22 is often compared with the American Patriot system and the Russian S-300, although the complex has a shorter range than modern S-300 variants. Serbia will be the first European country to operate Chinese anti-aircraft missiles when operating the FK-3 system.
US officials in 2020 warned Serbia about the sale of FK-3 air defense missiles, asking it to adapt its military equipment to Western standards if it wants to join the European Union (EU) or NATO.
Vu Anh (According to SCMP)
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