Tenth in a row Partner 2021 Defence Exhibition was held in halls at the Belgrade Fair, October 11-14. This year`s fair enlisted 132 exhibitors from Serbia and 14 countries across the world.


The Alexander, self-propelled artillery weapon. :

Especially important was the fact that this year`s exhibition was held at the same time as the Non-Aligned Movement Summit, therefore many delegations were able to visit the exhibition, which will have a positive impact on Serbian arms` export in the upcoming period, including military-technical cooperation with foreign partners as well.

The fact that the exhibition brought together well-known exhibitors from NATO states, from Russian Federation, China, besides the ongoing pandemic, contributed to the reputation of the Ministry of Defense as the traditional patron of the exhibition, as well as the reputation of the Yugoimport SDPR company, as the traditional co-organizer. On the other hand, some exhibitors have, due to their own stupidity and impudence, properly disgraced themselves, ensuing certain diplomats to come and intervene on the occasion.

We had an opportunity to visit boots of regular exhibitors from abroad — Sako Ltd. who presented only the high-end M-10 multi-caliber system this year, that we failed to photograph properly thanks to the two idiots who bothered the representative with offers to receive the mentioned system for testing. The patience of the representative was huge, therefore he was able to explain them that the M10 system is being used by top units in the world, so these two self-proclaimed experts simply have nothing left to test that has not been tested before...


A detail from the Benelli Armi Spa booth. :

As for boots that should be interested to specialist-gear-and-special-forces loving fans, worth to mention are boots by Benelli Armi Spa, B&T ag, Aimpoint AB, Surefile LLC, Safran Electronics and Defense, Safran Vectronix ag, the amazing TRB team from the Republic of Srpska, whose advertising continues to amaze and, of course, lots of national arms industry manufacturers. The Demax Ltd. booth was usually attractive, where we spend a bit more time and made several great photos. The company is, among other things, distributor of the amazing ActinBlack night visions, top SIG and Steyr rifle systems, Česká zbrojovka`s systems etc.

Most of our time we spend with our friends and partners at Horus Ltd, so expect a special article on our blog regarding their booth, achieved results and future plans.

The Partner 2021 became richer for the first military themed TV channel – the Front Television — gathering great people, full of enthusiasm and with a right approach to the theme. In the upcoming days you will be able to watch some great videos from the event, and maybe even some projects with us, in the future.


Results of better final touch and exterior design. :

Regarding the complex systems of various purposes, that have been promoted at this year`s exhibition as a result of Serbian engineering, systems developed by Yugoimport SDPR and Military Technical Institute dominated, of course, all of which we are not experts to comment on, therefore we are not going to do it in detail. Our impression is that, regarding the mentioned systems, automatization of procedures and actions is being improved, which deserves a praise, for sure. At the same time, it seems that some representatives still do not know what an autonomous weapon actually is and what is the difference between automatization and autonomy. Also, the impression is that constructors now pay more attention to final touch and „package” of these complex systems, understanding that exterior, no matter how mostly useless for a combat use, certainly affect promotion and sales, and everything in the end, of course, comes down to profit.

It was very pleasing for us to see more exhibited UAVs, some of which were from private companies with pretty advanced and original solutions. The RW-02 and IKA-01 systems were an awesome surprise, being completely developed by young Serbian geniuses from the PR-DC team, in less than a year. Throughout a chat with the representatives we quickly realized how was that amazing result achieved in such a short timespan — boldness, confidence, and most importantly, out-of-box thinking. The mentioned systems can be effectively used in very broad scenarios, not only in tactical and combat actions. So, they can be used to transport packages of different size, mass, type, such as food, gear, vaccines, can be used as early warning in case of fires, firefighting etc.


The IKA-01 system. :

Incomprehensibly little attention was paid to the Raven 145 loitering area denial weapon system, that was exhibited in configuration with a launcher (with a 18 container-capacity) and a control station. The system can be effectively used for real-time surveillance and strikes on various moving and stationary targets. The UAV can fly with a speed of 44 mps, with a range of 150+ km and can carry up to 15 kg of load.

The Lazanski 8×8 multipurpose combat-armored vehicle, produced by Yugoimport SDPR probably attracted the most attending media. It is an upgraded, full-armor version of the Lazarus 3 system, with a stunning 57 mm cannon. Our impression is that the vehicle really looks powerful and modern, but besides for promotion purposes, one should refrain from commenting, especially praising at this moment and wait and analyze the first data after introduction.

The latest version of the Aleksander self-propelled artillery weapon, in 155 mm caliber, claimed to be fully automated, was also presented at the exhibition. The manufacturer points out that this really advanced and visually amazing system “features a high level of autonomy”, but the system cannot actually be automated and highly autonomous at the same time, should we reckon the notion of autonomy properly. Shortly, the system is not even close to an autonomous weapon, because a human operator is included in a loop, but undoubtedly deserves a praise (and a correct description).


The Alexander system. :

Summing up the impressions, it can be said that the Partner 2021 was organized really well. Marketing of the national arms industry was improved to a more decent level, being a positive fact and a trend to work on more in the future. The improvements in Serbian arms construction is obvious. In the end, through a smart planning of the fair period a larger number of foreign delegations` visits was enabled, being a big success in the midst of the pandemic, and will certainly have multiple benefits for the national arms industry, Ministry of Defense and Serbian Armed Forces.


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