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Croatia signs on the dotted line for a dozen Rafales

29th November 2021 - 11:34 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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French defence minister Florence Parly (seated on the left) and French President Emmanuel Macron formally signed a deal on 25 November to sell 12 second-hand Rafale aircraft to Croatia. (Photo: French MoD)

A total of 12 Rafale F3R fighters — plus a simulator, training services and support equipment — will be delivered to Croatia by Q1 2025.

Croatia on 25 November signed a government-to-government contract with France to buy 12 ex-French Air and Space Force Rafale F3R multirole fighters.

A separate contract for logistical support was also signed on 25 November in Zagreb, at a ceremony attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, Croatian PM Andrej Plenković, French defence minister Florence Parly and Eric Tripper, CEO of Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation.

The overall package will cost Croatia €1.15 billion ($1.3 billion), slightly more than the €999 million cited by Plenković in May 2021 when he announced plans to buy ten single-seat and two twin-seat Rafales.

Croatia will pay in six annual instalments from 2021 to 2026.

The deal includes ground support equipment, maintenance services and training on a Rafale simulator.

Croatian Air Force technicians will be sent to France for training in 2022, long before aircraft deliveries are completed in Q4 2024-Q1 2025 to replace an elderly fleet of MiG-21bis/UM fighters.

Authorities in Zagreb did not specify which weapons would arm the Croatian Rafales, merely mentioning they would be equipped with ‘basic modern’ air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles.

Nor did they specify if AESA radar would be installed on the F3Rs.

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