New fighter jets for Croatia: the nation needs a Mig-21 replacement by 2020

Croatia new fighter jet 2020
Croatian MiG-21 Fishbed. The aircraft will soon be replaced by new aircraft. 

On September 2, Robert Kopal, special adviser and analyst to Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, said the nation is planning to sign a purchase contract for 12 new or second-hand fourth-generation combat aircraft by 2020.

"Our goal is to have the contracts signed until the end of next year," said Kopal, adding that analyzes showed a need for 12 fighter jets.

According to Kopal, one of the main parameters included in the decision-making process is the delivery date.

He also said that the Croatian government will start two separate procedures: one for new aircraft and a second one for second-hand jets, and they will separately evaluate the offers received for each procedure.

"After the evaluation, we will have a winner in the New category and a winner in the Used category, following which we will make the final decision," Kopal concluded.

In January, Croatia cancelled the purchase of 12 multi-purpose US-made F-16 Barak combat aircraft from Israel, after the $500 million (457 million euro) deal was blocked by the United States (more details here).

According to several rumors, Croatia is currently looking at U.S. F-16 C/D Block 50/52, Swedish JAS-39 Gripen and French Mirage 2000 jets. The new planes will replace the old Mig-21 fleet of the Croatian Air Force.

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Written by Matteo Sanzani

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