Croatia selects Ex-French Air Force Rafales

 Croatia has selected the French offer to acquire Dassault Rafale fighter jet to replace its aged MiG-21 fighter fleet. Under the deal value...

 Croatia has selected the French offer to acquire Dassault Rafale fighter jet to replace its aged MiG-21 fighter fleet.

Under the deal valued at $1.2 billion, Croatian Air Force will receive 12 Ex-French Air Force Rafale F3-R fighters, consisting 10 single seat and 2 twin seat variants.

The acquisition will significantly upgrade Croatian defense capability, as Rafale is one of the most capable fighter jets in the world, equipped with advanced navigation and attack systems, latest generation radar with highly integrated sensors and self defense systems and capable of carrying 9.5 tons of wide range of weapons.

Croatia launched the MiG-21 replacement program in 2019. The Rafale beat United States (new F-16 C/D Block 70), Sweden (new Gripen C/D), and Israeli (used F-16 C/D Block 30) offers.

The twin engined Rafale was the only aircraft to offer the supercruise capability among the four aircraft offered along with the lowest radar reflection.

In addition to aircraft, the French offer includes a flight simulator, basic weapons package, ground and test equipment, spare parts, staff training, comprehensive OEM support for a period of three years and a 12-month warranty to each aircraft, engine and other equipment and spare parts delivered.

The first aircraft will start arriving in Croatia from 2023, replacing the current MiG-21 fleet, whose service life expires in 2024.

The Rafale airframes have clocked an average 3800 flight hours out of the designed 7000 flight hour. The airframe life can be extended to 9000 flight hours, ensuring a service life until 2060.