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Serbia’s Yugoimport-SDPR showcases new artillery solutions at Partner 2017

Serbia’s state-owned defence manufacturer and supplier Yugoimport-SDPR is showcasing its new artillery solutions at Partner 2017, which is taking place in Belgrade until Friday, June 30.

Yugoimport-SDPR has built a strong artillery portfolio, with the 155mm/52-calibre NORA B-52 wheeled self-propelled howitzer in the lead for securing the company sales and continuing interest from overseas.

At Partner 2017, Yugoimport-SDPR unveiled its new Aleksandar 155mm/52-calibre wheeled self-propelled howitzer (SPH). Based on the NORA B-52, the Aleksandar benefits from a fully automated shell loading system, making it directly analogous to the BAE Systems ARCHER and Nexter CAESAR.

In addition, the Aleksandar will be available with Yugoimport-SDPR’s velocity enhanced artillery projectile (VLAP) shell, which will enable the Aleksandar to fire at up to 52 km.

Alongside the Aleksandar SPH, Yugoimport-SDPR also revealed its new Sumadija multiple launch rocket system (MLRS). The Sumadija is armed with four tubes capable of deploying Jerina 1 and Jerina 2 rockets.

The Jerina 1 is a 400mm INS/GPS-guided missile with a range of 285 km with a 200-kg warhead. The Jerina 2 is a 267mm calibre unguided rocket with a range of 75 km and 110 kg warhead.

Yugoimport-SDPR also showcased the ALAS-C coastal defence ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM). The ALAS-C was developed in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates.

The ALAS is a short-range GLCM with a range of 25 km, but plans are in place to extend the range to 60 km. Another unique aspect to the ALAS is that it is a wire-guided missile, which bucks the long-running trend of cruise missiles using mid-course INS/GPS guidance systems with terminal seekers.

Notes & Comments:

The Aleksandar SPH could be an option for the Pakistan Army, which had examined the NORA B-52 and Denel Land Systems T5-52 in 2016, ostensibly for a significant SPH requirement.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) met with Yugoimport-SDPR in February at IDEX in the United Arab Emirates. Serbian news outlets, such as Politika, reported that Pakistan told Yugoimport-SDPR that it would seek 500 SPH, of which 400 would need to be built in Pakistan. The Pakistan Army’s Director General of Artillery also visited Serbia in January.

It is not known if Pakistan has decided upon a candidate or, for that matter, pursue the program at all. That said, in 2016 IHS Jane’s projected that Pakistan could spend $844 million U.S. on SPHs by 2024, which indicates that this is (or at least was) a priority requirement.

For an acquisition to occur, the winning system would need to exhibit a balance of capability, reliability, affordability and localization. This would likely inhibit French or British options and, in turn, strongly favour solutions from Pakistan’s established suppliers, such as China’s NORINCO, and smaller vendors such as MKEK and Aselsan in Turkey, South Africa’s Denel Land Systems and Serbia’s Yugoimport-SDPR.

Besides SPHs, Pakistan is also working to enhance its MLRS systems, which will involve the development and production of guided MLRS. At IDEX the Pakistan MoDP expressed interest in Yugoimport-SDPR’s G-2000-52 modification, which extends the range of 122mm rockets to 52 km.