Croatia Turns to Sweden, U.S. for Fighter Purchase

Croatia Turns to Sweden, U.S. for Fighter Purchase 24 May, 2019


After failing to secure second-hand F-16s from Israel, Croatia has approached Sweden and United States to buy new fighters, Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic said.

Zagreb was close to striking a deal on buying a squadron of used and refitted F-16 fighter jets from Israel, but eventually Israel informed Croatia it could not sell the planes as it could not secure an approval from the United States. Israel’s F-16s are equipped with advanced systems that US allows no other country to own.

Israel had been in competition with several countries bidding for Zagreb’s business and its most serious competitor was reported to have been Sweden’s SAAB offering new JAS-39 Gripen aircraft.

Croatia joined the NATO alliance in 2009 and the European Union in 2013. Its air force has a squadron of Russian-made MiG-21 jets dating from its past within old Yugoslavia, but they are outdated and only a few are operational at the moment.

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