Croatia chooses between f-16 and Gripen

February 29th, 2012  

Topic: Croatia chooses between f-16 and Gripen
The article is in Croatian so I wrote a translation.

War Air Force remains, in the game are Dutch F-16 Block-15 and Gripen

The Croatian leadership decided that combat aviation remains an integral part of the Croatian War Air Force and Air Defense, and the Croatian sky will not bee to monitored by the NATO alliance, learned from sources close to the president's office. The same source told us that he will reject the idea of upgrade MIG-21 considering that Croatia has long-term decision to protect its own airspace, and the Russian equipment does not fit into its long-term strategic commitment.

"In fact, last year within the NATO alliance emerged the concept of "Smart Defense" which implies more interoperability, sharing of resources, logistics, etc. in order to reduce costs. If by any chance Croatia keep MIG 21 it would make difficult to share common resources, spare parts, etc. within NATO alliance, "said our source who added that a final decision is sure to bring this year, and considering all the above there are only two aircraft still in the game Gripen and the F-16 fighter.

In the last few weeks current U.S. diplomatic offer of Dutch F-16 Block 15 which would be modernized become significant. The price of such "modernized" the aircraft would have been EUR 10 million apiece, including a package of spare parts, training of pilots and technicians, and documentation. Such upgraded aircraft were sold to Chile in the price of EUR 100 million, and it was about 18 aircraft spare parts and training, or about 6 million apiece. It should take into account the fact that the price drop because of the amount, so Croatia can not count on such favorable arrangement as Chile, because it needs less.

Offered aircraft belonging to the contingent of 29 aircraft of the Dutch air force produced by the mid-80s, which are conserved and they never carried out modernization or MLU (Mid-Life Upgrade)

In an interview with our editor, portal source noted that the offer from Swedish Saab for Gripen aircraft is also seriously considered, especially for aircraft used by the Swedish Air Force, because the Swedes offer a specific offset program, much newer aircraft and the best long-term costs maintenance and use of aircraft, but believes that because of the difficult economic situation SAAB must make extra efforts when it comes to price conditions and terms of payment for the Republic of Croatia.