Croatia to make decision on fighter jet procurement by the end of the year

According to the Polish news agency Defence24, the Croatian Ministry of Defense announced the receipt of four bids for 12 fighter jets for the country’s air force. Croatia intends to come up with a decision in its ongoing fighter jet procurement procedure by December 12 2020.

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Croatia to make decision on fighter jet procurement by the end of the year 925 001 Illustration picture of a USAF F-16C flying over the desert in Iraq in 2008. (Picture source: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway/Released)

In January, the Croatian government sent requests for proposals for the delivery of new fighter jets to the U.S. (F-16), and Sweden (JAS Gripen), and requests for the procurement of used fighter jets to France (Rafale), Italy (Eurofighter) and Norway, Greece and Israel (F-16).

In September 2019, the defence ministry said that the country had received 13 proposals for the delivery of fighter jets after sending letters to 26 potentially interested parties.

Now the process of evaluation commences, and the interdepartmental commission on the purchase of military aircraft will recommend the best bid by December 12.

The new fighter planes are to replace the MiGi-21bis-D / MUD in Croatia, modified at the beginning of the century to a standard partially compatible with NATO to a lesser degree than in the case of the Romanian MiG-21 Lancer-R aircraft. Officially, the air force has 8 single-seater and 4 two-seater fighters, but less than half is actually airworthy.

These machines should end their service in 2024, but this deadline will certainly be extended until at least some of the new machines are operational.