Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said that the country is holding talks to purchase at least 12 Rafale multipurpose fighter jets.

According to a Reuters report, the country seeks to finalise the deal without ‘jeopardising’ its public finances.

The potential procurement will help Serbia to modernise its air force which currently includes ageing Soviet-era jets and combat aircraft from erstwhile Yugoslavia.

President Vucic was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We have been negotiating this purchase of 12 new jets for a year, and we are also looking at buying another 12 used (Western) planes from another country.” He did not specify other details.

Serbia is also in talks with three countries to buy more ground attack planes.

Rafale is a twin-jet combat aircraft that can be used for ground and sea attacks, reconnaissance missions and other military operations.

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By GlobalData

The aircraft is manufactured by Dassault Aviation of France.

This February, the Indonesian Ministry of Defence signed an $8.1bn contract with Dassault Aviation to buy 42 Rafale jets.

Greece has also signed a deal this year to procure six additional Rafales. This will increase the Hellenic Air Force’s Rafale fleet size to 24 planes.

Serbia’s neighbour Croatia also operates Rafale jets.

Earlier this year, Serbian Ministry of Defence placed a $91m (€81m) order to procure two Airbus C-295 military transport aircraft.

The deal also includes associated pilot equipment and training services.