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Croatia signs contracts for 12 Rafale fighters

Croatia signed the contracts for the acquisition of 12 used Rafale fighters from France on 25 November. (Dassault)

Almost six months since selecting the Rafale fighter, Croatia on 25 November signed the contracts for the acquisition of 12 aircraft from France: 10 single seaters and two twin seaters.

On the second day of French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Croatia, Croatian Defence Minister Mario Banožić and his French counterpart, Florence Parly, signed a technical agreement on defence co-operation. Banožić also signed contracts on the Rafale procurement with Dassault CEO Eric Trappier, MBDA CEO Eric Beranger, and the director of Safran's Defence Division, Frédéric Mazzanti.

The Rafales will be up to 14 years old when they arrive in Croatia, with around 3,800 flight hours per aircraft remaining. Deliveries are expected to start in late 2023, with the first actual arrival of eight aircraft in Croatia during 2024 and the remaining four in early 2025.

The Croatian government did not provide details of the ”modern basic armament package“, the simulator, personnel training, testing equipment and spares, as well as support from manufacturer Dassault. Training of the trainers of the first group of technicians will start in France in late 2022, followed by the training of 12 Croatian pilots in France in early 2023. Up to 80 personnel will be trained in France for 15–18 months. The government stated in May that the French offer includes three years of support and a one-year guarantee for the aircraft, engines, equipment, and spares, but this has not been clarified since. Moreover, nothing was been said about the possibility of upgrading the aircraft to the F4 standard.

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