Analysis: Italian Eurofighter surplus for Croatia

Italian Eurofighter Typhoon surplus Croatia
Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons.

Croatia is currently looking at second-hand aircraft to replace the old MiG-21 fleet of the Croatian Air Force. At the beginning of the year the Croatian government was close to signing a deal with Israel to buy 12 F-16 Block 40 combat aircraft when the United States blocked the sale. Washington has imposed on Israel to eliminate non-base system upgrades on aircraft, but Croatia considered these features to be a decisive clause in the agreement.

Zagreb must now begin to look at the market to identify new options and could take advantage of the surplus of Eurofighter Tranche 1 of the Italian Air Force, such as the proposal made by Leonardo to Bulgaria. Although the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense is very keen to buy the new Lockheed Martin F-16 Viper (Block 70/72) variant, the second-hand ITAF Typhoons could also suit the nation. The Croatian Air Force uses its fighters mainly for air defense and the Eurofighter T1 can fill this role effectively. The Typhoon is one of the most decisive aircraft in doghfight and even without the full suite of weapons, it is still lethal. 

Croatian pilots have already been able to assess the capabilities of Eurofighter last summer as the RAF sent two Typhoons to Zagreb to conduct a joint exercise. This cooperation has shown how the introduction of the Eurofighter is crocial to allow an excellent integration with allies. Within a few years, the Typhoon and the F-35 will equip the main fleets of Western countries.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Italian Air Force

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