Croatia Invests $1.2 Billion in 12 Rafale Combat Fighters for Its Air Force

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Photo: Dassault Aviation
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12 Rafale combat fighters from French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation will renew Croatia’s fleet starting 2024.
Croatia had other offers to choose from, with the U.S. and Sweden losing to France’s Dassault Aviation bid, which made the best offer in terms of price, according to Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, as reported by Airforce Technology.

The 12 jets are used and were previously in service with the French Air Force. Croatia has agreed to pay approximately $1.2 billion in installments for the aircraft, starting in early 2022. The first six Rafale combat fighters from Dassault will be delivered in 2024 and the other half, the following year. Dassault Aviation will also throw in training and fleet support for the money.

The costly acquisition is part of Croatia’s multi-role fighter aircraft (MRFA) program and the Defence Ministry started analyzing the offers back in November 2020.

Plenkovic stated that he considers this to be the best solution for Croatia in the long run. The decision is also meant to enhance the bilateral relations between France and Croatia and their strategic partnership signed in 2010.

The package will include F3-R jets, two of them being two-seaters and the other ten single-seaters. Rafale F3-R is an upgraded and more versatile version of the standard F3. Its systems and sensors are improved for flawless interoperability.

The Rafale aircraft is a twin-jet multirole combat fighter that entered service with the French Air Force back in 2006 and even earlier than that, in 2004, with the French Navy. It is capable of both short-range and long-range missions and it is suitable for ground and sea attacks.

Rafale can carry 1.5 times its weight in weapons and fuel and can be used for tactical reconnaissance, interception and air-to-air combat, maritime strike with the Exocet AM39 Block 2 missile as well as other weapons, in-flight refueling, nuclear deterrence using the ASMP-A missile, and more. It is its versatility that makes it a reliable omnirole aircraft.
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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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