Serbian army to get Nora howitzers, Lazar multirole combat vehicles and Milos UGVs from Jugoimport-SDPR

According to Branislav Urosevic in See News, Serbia's Defense ministry purchased six Nora B-52 self-propelled howitzers from state-owned Defense products maker Jugoimport-SDPR's subsidiary Borbeni Slozeni Sistemi (BSS). The units will be delivered later this week, the ministry said in a statement on March 23.
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Nora B-52 M21 performing accuracy-test firing in Serbia, in April 2021 (Picture source: Global Ordnance)

Yugo's Nora B-52 M21 is the latest version of the Nora system which received a chassis upgrade along with updates to the fully automatic loading system for compatibility with U.S. Army MACS propellant charges. Yugo design engineers participated in the testing to learn what upgrades would be most needed by U.S. Army artillery crews. Upgrades from feedback during testing are already being designed to meet the mobile artillery needs of the U.S. Army.

The Nora B-52 is a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer weapon system fully developed and designed by the Serbian company Yugoimport and the Military Technical Institute Belgrade. For the U.S. Army program, Yugoimport has designed a version of the Nora B-52 based on an 8x8 MAN truck chassis. The Nora B-52 is fitted with 155-mm / L52 gun-howitzer. It is a further development of the Yugoslavian M84 Nora A gun-howitzer. The Nora B-52 fires all standard NATO 155-mm ammunition. It is fitted with an automatic gun loader enabling a rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute. The vehicle carries a total of 36 rounds. The autoloader holds 12 rounds. The howitzer has a maximum firing range of 41 km.

The Serbian Ministry of Defense also looks to procure six Lazar 3 multi-role combat vehicles from BSS, as well as new units of Milos unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), the statement read. The Ministry didn't specify how many Milos UGVs it is planning to purchase.

Lazar 3 is the latest version in the Lazar family of 8x8 wheeled armored IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle). It has been developed by the Serbian company Yugoimport to be configured as an APC (Armored Personel Carrier), an IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle), a command post, an ambulance, an air defense missile system, an anti-tank vehicle, and more. Lazar 3 was unveiled in 2016 and is now in service with Serbia and Turkmenistan.

The Lazar 3 has a ballistic protection Level 3 STANAG 4569 against the firing of small arms 7.62×51mm caliber AP (Amor-Piercing) at 30 meters and anti-mine protection levels 3a and 3b STANAG 4569, mine explosion pressure-activated under any wheel or track location (Level 3a), mine explosion under center (Level 3b).

The 1,400kg RWS fitted on this Lazar 3 is armed with three Hispano M55 20mm automatic guns intended for treating ground and seaborne targets at distances of up to 2,000 meters, and air targets at distances of up to 1,500 meters. Each drum loader contains 60 shells. The muzzle velocity of the ammunition is 850 m/sec. The total rate of fire of the three guns ranges from 1,950 to 2,250 rounds/minute. The firing mode – single shot or burst – can be selected for each gun separately.

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Lazar 3 with Kereber RWS (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The Milos UGV weighs 550 kg and has a 250 kg payload capacity. It can reach 10 km/h and be operated for a maximum of 3 hours. It is equipped with two CCD cameras, one at the front and one at the rear. IR lights are also provided. The tracks are of a somewhat ancient design, combining a steel structure (including connectors) and rubber shoes.

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Milos-L UGV (Picture source: Army Recognition)