15:39 / 28.05.2021.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

Croatia opts for French multi-purpose fighter jets

(Photo: Twitter, @Dassault_OnAir)

(Photo: Twitter, @Dassault_OnAir)

Foto: - / -

Croatia has opted to purchase 12 used French fighter jets Dassault Rafale F3-R in a deal totalling 999 million euro, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced on Friday.

"The government assessed that the French offer was the best," he said at a cabinet meeting, adding that ten single-seat and two twin-seat jets would be procured for Croatian Air Force. Plenković said that the Dassault Rafale F3-R is a "latest generation aircraft" and that it is "considered among the best in the world."

"The French offer turned out to be the best because Croatia is getting the best-assessed and best-equipped aircraft for the least money," he said, adding that the French bid was "the most favorable" as the payment in installments "would not slow down Croatia's accession to the euro zone."

Croatia, which had joined the EU in 2013 but is not a member of its passport-free travel Schengen area nor the euro zone, hopes to replace its currency kuna with the euro in the next few years. One of the criteria a EU country needs to meet in order to adopt the euro is a maximum debt-to-GDP ratio of 60 percent. Croatia's ratio had jumped to 89.1 percent in 2020.

The announcement ends Croatia's years-long search to replace the outdated MiG-21 jets currently used by the country's air force. This was Croatia's second tender to modernize its air force, after the original one was awarded in March 2018 to Israel which had offered 12 modified American-made F-16 fighter jets for 412 million kuna. The deal eventually fell through by early 2019 after the US had refused to okay the deal due to upgraded avionics installed in the aircraft.

Apart from France which offered a fleet of Rafale jets, other bids in the new tender were submitted by the United States - which offered Block 70 F-16s; Sweden, which offered JAS 39 Gripen C/D, and Israel, which again offered their used F-16 Barak jets.

Apart from France, Rafale jets are currently used by air forces of India, Egypt, and Qatar.

Source: HINA

Vijesti HRT-a pratite na svojim pametnim telefonima i tabletima putem aplikacija za iOS i Android. Pratite nas i na društvenim mrežama Facebook, Twitter, Instagram i YouTube!