After Montenegro declared itself an independent state on
June 3, 2006, Serbia followed suit after June 5 of that
year. Serbia's territorial situation was further complicated
when Kosovo declared itself an independent state on February
17, 2008. See the Yugoslav wars for the historical
background. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that SRB stands for Serbia.
Serbia's defense has been based on military service since
2006 with 6 months basic education. The standing defense of
24,000 men (2008) is organized into 4 brigades with about 57
fighter aircraft and 53 armed helicopters. The battleships
were transferred to Montenegro. The reserves amount to
54,000 men from the former territorial associations.
However, the reserve value of the reserves can be called
into question. The defense equipment is semi-modern with the
exception of e.g. some MiG-29 fighter aircraft.
Defense costs increased in 1985-96 from 3.8% to 8.7% of
GDP and in 2006 amounted to 2.5% of GDP. Serbia participates
in the UN peacekeeping operation with observers in three
countries. The UN peacekeeping forces in Serbia (KFOR)
contain observers from 47 countries and troops from, among
others. Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy,
Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Turkey, Germany, Hungary,
USA and Austria.
Serbia's defense overview
Serbia has had voluntary military service from 2011, and
the initial service is six months. Serbia's armed forces
have 28,150 active personnel with a reserve of 50,150
personnel (2018, IISS). Serbia has no navy of its own, but a
river fleet that falls under the army.
Since 1999, a NATO-led UN force (KFOR) has been stationed
in the province of Kosovo. In 2018, the force was around
2,500 personnel, with a reserve of 800 personnel. Norway has
contributed KFOR personnel since its inception.
The army has 13 250 active personnel. Of material has
army 212 tanks (199 M-84, which is a Serb variant of T-72,
and 13 T-72), 46 reconnaissance vehicles, 335 armored
vehicles, 83 armored personnel carriers, 48 armored fighters
and about 70 self-propelled artillery. In addition, the Army
has heavy artillery, short-range air defense missiles and
The army's river fleet includes five patrol boats, four
minesweepers, five landings, and two logistics and auxiliary
The Air Force has 5100 active personnel. Of material has
the RAF 13 fighters (four MiG-21 and nine MiG-29), 17
fighter type J-22, 12 reconnaissance, 10 transport, 42
trainers and 62 helicopters including two combat helicopters
of the type Mi-24. In addition, the Air Force has short
range air defense missiles.
Serbia participated in UN operations in 2018, including
the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with 73 personnel,
and in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 177 personnel.