Croatia's defence minister Mario Banožić said on Monday that a study had been drawn up which would serve as a basis for the government's decision on the choice of multipurpose fighter aircraft, meaning the procurement could be conducted at the beginning of 2021.
"I believe that the whole process will be over in early 2021," Minister Banožić said in the northern city of Varaždin where he attended the 28th anniversary of the founding of the 7th guard brigade, nicknamed the Pumas.
The findings of the study will be presented to the parliamentary's Defence Committee and the state Council of Defence and after that the government will give its opinion.
The inter-departmental task force has elaborated several criteria for the selection of the best choice.
Asked by the press whether the current four bids are more favourable financially than before, the minister said that Croatia was not buying just aircraft but also an entire set of missiles, simulators and training. In that sense we have communicated some details to bidders to perhaps modify some things, he explained.
Croatia received four offers. The United States is offering the new F-16 Block 70, Sweden is offering the new Gripen C/D model, while France and Israel are offering used aircraft - Dessault Rafale and F-16 Block 30 respectively.
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