First Croatian Rafale is seen at St Dizier

First Croatian Air Force Rafale
First Croatian Air Force Rafale B lands at BA113 Saint-Dizier, France.

The first Croatian Rafale fighter jet is seen at the French Saint Dizier Air Base (ICAO code: LFSI) on September 14 2023. Croatia signed the contract for the purchase of this french built fighter in 2021. In total the Croatian Air Force signed a contract for the delivery of two Rafale B dual seat fighters and ten Rafale C single seat fighters. The French jets will replace the last operational Soviet-era MiG-21 bis fighter jets. These aircraft were developed in the 1950s and was the most advanced fighter of its period. Most of the MiGs originated from the Yugoslavian Air Force and were taken by the Croatian Air Force when the country became independent during the Yugoslavian War.

The Rafales are already 14 years old when they will enter service in Croatia. The aircraft are second hand models which flew already in the french Air Force for several years. The aircraft have still +/- 3,800 flight hours per aircraft remaining. Deliveries are expected to start in late 2023, with the first actual arrival of eight aircraft in Croatia during 2024 and the remaining four in early 2025. The first pilots started their training in early 2023 at the Saint Dizier Air Base in Northern France. In total the first batch of pilot will consist of 12 pilots for this type. Also around 80 personnel will be trained in France to be able to handle these modern fighter jets. This training will take 15 to 18 month for the ground crew.


Text and Photo by Joris van Boven, Alex van Noye
Video by Alex van Noye

No comments

All comments related to the contents of our articles are welcome. It is not allowed to post promotional messages, links to external sites, or references to activities not related to this blog.

Powered by Blogger.