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Christopher F. Foss on "PARTNER 2023"

On October 12, 2023, an article by Christopher F. Foss was published on shephardmedia.com, about "PARTNER 2023" and Jugoimport-SDPR’s development and manufacturing program. You can read an extract from the article below.

Every two years, the Republic of Serbia holds the Partner defence exhibition in Belgrade to show potential customers the country’s latest defence developments, with the land sector firmly in focus.

As is customary, several systems were shown for the first time at Partner 2023, with some being brand new while others are upgrades of older platforms.


Following the success of the first-generation Milosh 4x4 in home and export markets, Serbia (Jugoimport-SDPR) has developed the Milosh 2 which is described as a Multirole Armoured Tactical Vehicle (MATV) with more volume, payload and protection.

Milosh 2 has a gross vehicle weight of 18t of which 2.5t is payload, including crew and weapons. In addition to commander and driver it can carry eight dismounts who can rapidly exit via side doors or a power-operated rear ramp.

The power pack is a 6.7l diesel developing 338hp coupled to automatic transmission and a two-speed transfer case which gives a maximum road speed of 100km/h. Texelis provide the new-generation T750 axles.

Standard equipment includes a central tyre pressure regulation system, front-mounted winch and cameras for situational awareness.

A variety of weapon stations can be mounted on the roof including a remote-controlled turret with 20mm M55 cannon, 7.62mm M86 coaxial MG, twin launchers on the right for Malyutka anti-tank guided weapons, a roof-mounted 30mm M93 grenade launcher and banks of 82mm smoke grenade launchers.

Weapons are laid onto the target via a flat panel display inside, using a roof mounted-sighting system fitted with day/thermal cameras and a laser rangefinder plus missile guidance package.

Above: The Milosh 2 4x4 fitted with a remote-controlled turret armed with a 20mm cannon, 7.62mm machine gun, two missiles and a 30mm M93 automatic grenade launcher. (Photo: author)

The Lazar 8x8 was originally introduced into service with Serbian forces fitted with a roof-mounted unstabilised remote controlled weapon station armed with a 12.7mm machine gun.

Above: The Lazar 3 8x8 fitted with a remote weapon station armed with two 30mm cannon laid onto the target by a day/night sighting system. (Photo: author)

For trial purposes the Lazar 3 has now been integrated with a remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) armed with two 30x210mm single-feed cannon each provided with 110 rounds of ready ammunition, with a claimed maximum range in the ground-to-ground role of 2,000m.

The new model of Lazar, designation 3M, has also been completed, which is equipped with a RCWS armed with a stabilised 30mm dual-feed cannon and 7.62mm coaxial machine gun (MG) laid onto the target via charge-coupled device (CCD) camera, infra-red (IR) camera with laser rangefinder and automatic tracker.


The cannon is provided with 300 rounds of ammunition (200 high explosive and 100 armour-piercing tracer).

The M in the designation indicates the vehicle has an additional armour package and anti-mine protection which has increased its weight of around 30t. Unlike earlier Lazars the 3M does not have any bulletproof side windows and associated firing ports in the hull.

Serbia (Jugoimport-SDPR) has also completed a prototype of the Lazanski 8x8 infantry fighting vehicle which has a maximum weight of 26-36t which depends on the weapon station and armour package.

Power pack is a Caterpillar C13 diesel developing 711hp coupled to an Allison 4000P six-speed automatic transmission. A height management system fitted as standard.

Above: A Lazanski 8x8 IFV fitted with remote controlled weapon station armed with 57mm gun and 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. (Photo: author)

Ballistic protection is to STANAG 4569 Level 4 but under development is an upgrade to Level 5 and 6, while mine protection is STANAG 4569 Level 4a/4b. Like the Lazar 3M, the Lazanski does not have any firing ports.

Standard equipment includes an inertial navigation system to thwart GPS jamming, a battle management system, air conditioning and CBRN protection. The crew is provided with anti-blast seats.

The first example is fitted with an RCWS armed with a 57mm gun and 7.62mm coaxial MG.


­­­­­­­Serbia (Jugoimport-SDPR) has just completed the first example of its 155mm/52cal NORA New Generation (NG) howitzer, which is expected to start firing trials early in 2024.

Above: The Latest Serbian NORA NG 155mm/52cal self-propelled artillery system based on a MAN 8x8 chassis. (Photo: author)

The artillery system, also known as Perun, is based on a MAN 8x8 truck chassis with a fully protected four-door cab and protected remote-controlled turret incorporating a reinforced barrel with a 23l chamber that meets the NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU).

A key feature of the system is that the magazine holds a total of 30 artillery projectiles and associated charges, with an additional six 155mm rounds on the vehicle.

Maximum range depends on projectile/charge combination but is 32.5km for an extended range full bore (ERFB) round, 41.5km for ERFB base bleed and 52km for a Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile.

The system can carry out multiple-round simultaneous-impact fire missions in which three 155mm projectiles will hit the target at the same time at a range of 30km.

As the NORA NG has a computerised fire control system and inertial navigation it can carry out independent fire missions and according to officials can open fire within 60 seconds of coming to a halt and redeploy in 30 seconds after the mission has been completed.

The turret is normally fired over the rear arc with a traverse of 30° left and right with elevation from -5 to +65°.

To provide a more stable firing platform four hydraulically operated stabilisers are lowered to the ground, two on either side. The system is operated by a crew of four people from the protected cab and has a combat weight of around 40t.

The earlier NORA B-52, which is also JBMoU compliant, is based on an KamAZ 8x8 platform. This has a crew of five.

Its most recent iteration is the M21 which is based on a MAN chassis and an automatic loader that can handle bi-modular charges rather than the original Serbian natures.

Serbia (Jugoimport- SDPR) has also developed the Alexander artillery system to prototype stage, which also has a 155mm/52cal ordnance but its unmanned turret only has 12 rounds and once expended another 12 can be loaded automatically giving a total of 24 carried. This has been marketed with a 23 or 25l chamber.

Further out in the future is a NORA Ultra Long Range based on an 8x8 platform with a new 155mm/60cal barrel with a higher chamber volume which will fire a new generation of ammunition with a maximum range of some 70km.

This will include a new 155mm high explosive fin-stabilised discarding sabot projectile with an advanced filling and terminal guidance.

In addition to new artillery systems, Serbia is also investing in ammunition developments including the 155mm M19 projectile which has a new streamlined shape and a thermobaric filling. A 155mm course-correct fuze is also being developed which uses INS/GPS guidance and claimed to give a circular error of probability of less than 30m.