Serbian news agency BETA has reported that with the dissolution of the Serbian-Montenegrin state the new Army of Montenegro, sold five G-4 Super Galeb aircraft which remained at Golubovci airport to an unnamed Croatian company.
The Ministry of Defence of Montenegro confirmed that the aircraft were indeed sold but that it only sold the bodies of the aircraft, without engines and weapons, and that the aircraft were not in flying condition.
A source from the Montenegrin Ministry of Defence said that the planes were sold in a confidential tender and added that the Croatian company indicated that it wanted to equip the Super Galeb’s for “sport flying”.
Military analyst Aleksandar Radic told BETA that these aircraft could return to a flying state as jet engines can be found on the market. In addition, Mr. Radic added that Croatia has the capacity to refurbish the Galeb’s since the Yugoslav manufacturing plant Soko carried out overhaul’s of the aircraft in Croatia until 1991.
” It would be interesting to see if there still exists the knowledge required to perform such work,” said Radic.
He added that there is an assumption that these aircraft, after being repaired, could be rented to the Croatian Air Force pilots flying for the maintenance and training. He noted that the Croatian air force is challenged with training its pilots to switch from turboprop PC-9 aircraft to the Mig-21, which is very demanding aircraft to fly.
Radic insisted that even if that happens, there is no security threat to Serbia.
After the breakup of Serbia and Montenegro, at the airport in Golubovci, near Podgorica the state military left a total of 17 Super Galeb aircraft, four Utva-75, 17 Gazelle helicopters and five MI-8 helicopters.
According to the Serbian Ministry of Defence the two states agreed to exchange assets and records and recently Serbia recieved the remaining Super Galeb’s from Montenegro which after overhaul will serve the Serbian Army.
The Super Galeb which was sold to the unnamed Croatian company was the last serial plane constructed by the Yugoslav aviation industry.
The Yugoslav Air Force produced a total of 85 G-4 aircraft and sold 6 aircraft to Burma in the 1980’s.
The plane is powered by British Rolls-Royce Viper engine has a top speed of 910 kilometers per hour.
It carries two GS-23 – 23 mm calibre guns and 1,200 pounds of bombs and missiles.