The Croatian Ministry of Defence (MOD) revealed on November 11 that it has received final offers from four government teams seeking to provide the country with a new multi-role fighter.
Croatia is looking for a new multi-role fighter to replace its ageing fleets of Cold War-era Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21UMD Mongol-B and MiG-21bis-D (NATO reporting name: Fishbed) fighters. The MOD announced that government teams from France, Israel, Sweden and the US had submitted best and final offers to replace its matured MiG-21s.
France has offered a number of second-hand Dassault Rafales, Israel has proposed surplus Lockheed Martin F-16 (Block 30) Fighting Falcons, Sweden has submitted Saab’s JAS-39C/D Gripen and the US has tendered the new F-16V (Block 70/72).
The Croatian MOD went on to detail the next phase of its fighter procurement process. It said: “The decision-making process at the state level will begin in early 2021 and includes the opinion of the Defense Committee of the Croatian Parliament and the Defense Council and the decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia on the most favourable offer for a multi-role fighter aircraft.
“The data are classified by both us and by the bidders. During the process of evaluation and selection of the best offer, we cannot go public with detailed data,” it added.
AirForces Intelligence data states that the Croatian Air Force operates eight MiG-21s, four of both variants. The aircraft are operated by the 191st Fighter Squadron ‘Knights’ from Zagreb-Pleso.