Croatia signs deal to buy 12 French fighter jets during visit by Macron

Published on: 25/11/2021 – 15:29

Croatia on Thursday signed an agreement to buy 12 French Rafale fighter jets worth about $ 1 billion ($ 1.2 billion) which officials said would strengthen its military in the midst of disputes in the Balkans.

The agreement for the used aircraft was signed during the visit of the President of France Emmanuel Macron in Croatia. This was France’s first trip to Croatia since splitting from the former Yugoslav republic in the 1991-95 war.

“The purchase of smart aircraft is what we see as a game changer in Croatia,” Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said at a press conference with Macron after signing.

“This will not only give us an opportunity to prevent people with any interest in our territory but also to be the so-called security deputies … settled in southeastern Europe,” he said.

Macron said the airline agreement would strengthen cooperation between the two countries and support European security.

Two A stranger passed through the capital of Croatia after the signing ceremony.

Selection of French airlines, announced in May, followed a long-term payment plan that was hampered by delays. Some of the features included new F-16s from the United States, new JAS-39 Gripen aircraft from Sweden, and the use of Israeli F-16s.

Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, which manufactures Rafale jets, said “it will give the Croatian Air Force a complete satisfaction, while helping to support Croatia”.

Croatian officials have already said the purchase is worth 999 million euros and will include 10 single occupants and two F3R Rafale aircraft with two engines. The first six of Rafales are due to be released in 2024, and the rest are due next year.

French jets have replaced the few MiG-21s that are still in use in the Soviet era – they were first developed in the 1950s. Many of the MiGs were captured in the Yugoslav army that tried to prevent Croatia from seceding from the Serb-controlled organization.

Croatia, a member of NATO and the European Union, is competing in a small arms race with neighboring Russia Serbia, which recently received six MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia and four Belarusian aircraft. .

(AP)


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