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CroAF May Buy Used MiG-21s  
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 18571 times:
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As per an article in today's morning papers, the Croatian Defense Council will, over the next two to three months, decide on whether the country should dissolve its fighter wing, or prop-up the existing MiG-21 fleet until the economic situation improves and allows the purchase of new equipment.

In the case of the former, the article states that air policing would then be contracted out to the Italian and Hungarian AF. The cost of this arrangement has only been mentioned as Croatia's participation and financing of one or more NATO projects.

The latter option however - per the article the most likely scenario - offers two further possibilities. The first would involve the complete overhaul of four CroAF MiGs by Aerostar of Romania, as well as the purchase of four Romanian Lancers (there's no info on whether the four overhauled aircraft would be brought up to Lancer standards). The cost of this option is placed at around €20 million.

The second option would involve the purchase and modernization of eight MiGs from the Ukraine. The aircraft in question are Yemeni machines that had been overhauled in the Ukraine in 2008, but never taken up by the YAF, citing shoddy work done. While at €8 million by far the cheapest option, there are some problems with the jets' paperwork, which has been openly cited as "fishy". Apart from their dubious origin, the ownership of the jets is still not settled, with the YAF claiming the aircraft are still theirs, and the Ukrainian side claiming (and supporting with said fishy documents) that the jets had been delivered to the Ukraine back in 2003 by a Swiss company. The state of the aircraft themselves - as described by CroAF techs who'd inspected them - is said to be "satisfactory", though they did not get the chance to take them for a spin (the cause was said to be "bad weather").

The possibility of buying new jets - or at least used aircraft of a newer generation - is said to be next to none. The former option (which includes the F-16 Block 50, Gripen Classic and the Eurofighter) is valued at between €170 million and 1,24 billion, while the latter (which could have included the MiG-29, F-16 Block 15, Kfir and Mirage F1) at €90-270 million... both well outside the country's financial capability at this time.

So, we may still see the -21 plying European skies well into the latter half of the decade...  


No plane, no gain.
77 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 18522 times:

Why not F-16As or F/A-18As? Surplus F-16s or Hornets would be a better bet, I'd think, and the tech support would be there too.


Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 18511 times:
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Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 1):
Why not F-16As or F/A-18As? Surplus F-16s or Hornets would be a better bet, I'd think, and the tech support would be there too.

The problem with both is that they'd cause more (financial) problems than they're worth. Most of the CroAF's fast jet support infrastructure is still based on the old Soviet system, dictated by the old Soviet jets it operates. Switching to these F-16s or 18s would involve costly retraining of air and ground crews, retooling, resupply, development new tactics and operational procedures and so on - all for jets that would serve for only a couple of years as a stop-gap measure (and jets that don't have enough service life left in them to be a permanent measure). Then the same thing would have to be repeated for any potential new type, increasing long-term costs beyond what it would cost to buy new jets outright.

Exactly the same issue had also killed the German Phantom deal - even though the Luftwaffe was willing to pretty much donate the jets, the sheer costs associated with them (costs nearly equivalent to introducing a modern 4th generation aircraft) drove the deal into the ground. In the end, the MoD had calculated that no used type - East or West - matches the cost effectiveness of a few old -21s... (which naturally presumes that the economic situation will improve in coming years and the acquisition of a brand new aircraft will be viable).

EDIT: the predominant feeling here now is that the MoD had pretty much made up its mind that if anything is to be bought soon, it'll be a -21. The point of contention is from whom... India, Russia, Ukraine and Romania have all been suggested so far, but we'll have to wait and see. It's not altogether impossible that the MoD suddenly decides on a completely different option  Smile.

[Edited 2012-03-08 04:21:02]


No plane, no gain.
User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1470 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 18392 times:

Well it seems sooner or later Croatia will have to move away from Soviet system to a Western/NATO one anyhow. They are a full member of NATO after-all so things like interoperability and common system are key.

User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 18378 times:
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Quoting mercure1 (Reply 3):
Well it seems sooner or later Croatia will have to move away from Soviet system to a Western/NATO one anyhow. They are a full member of NATO after-all so things like interoperability and common system are key.

While this is very much true (and has been coming along nicely in other branches of the armed forces), such a move for the AF's fighter fleet is considered to be prohibitively expensive at this time and in this economic climate - especially if rushed as part of a stop-gap measure. Western standards and NATO interoperability will be achieved anyway if/when Croatia buys new hardware in a few years time... and given the limited contribution that the CroAF's single fighter wing can currently provide (or will be able to provide over the next 4-5 years), there's no real need to hurry the switch along if other options exist.

And when you look at it, the only NATO mission that CroAF fighters can perform given current budget and logistics constraints - air policing - can be done equally well with a MiG-21 as with a Typhoon or Gripen or F-16  .



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineplanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 18328 times:

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 4):
air policing

What is the int'l/military definition of "air policing?"



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 18307 times:
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Quoting planespotting (Reply 5):
What is the int'l/military definition of "air policing?"

The short NATO definition is using military aircraft to protect the integrity of NATO airspace. In peacetime practice this mostly translates into intercepting and identifying unresponsive and/or unknown aircraft (as well as aircraft that have diverted from their planned route without clearance), escorting said aircraft if necessary, identifying and checking diplomatic & state flights and so on - all the way up to armed patrolling of airspace during high-risk events (such as the World Economic Forum and various major sport events).

http://www.aco.nato.int/page142085426.aspx
http://www.aco.nato.int/page136314.aspx



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 18218 times:

Sure Croatia must have a way to fulfil its air policing task. But nowadays, for small countries which are overflown from end to end in minutes, it seems "old-fashioned" that every single country has its own assets. The easy way is to do like Slovenia and Albania - buy the service from friendly neighbors.

Several times the Royal Danish Air Force has done air policing for the three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It's done with a couple of F-16 from a base in Lithuania.

But if Croatia wants to do it in-house, then what's the point using combat planes? A feasible radar, the special communication equipment and a camera is easily installed in a biz jet.

A few well used, second hand Learjets can be had for a bargain and can be maintained forever for a small fraction of fifty years old MiG-21s. And they can be used for several other tasks such as ambulance plane, VIP transport and such.

Geography tells us that should something stray into Croatian air space, then it has already been spotted by friendly neighbors. And if it hasn't, then no Mach 2 (or even Mach 3) fighter will catch up before it is out of Croatia anyway. And I am sure I am right when assuming that Croatia has no intention to be part in any air war (for which a handful of MiG-21s would be no use anyway).

So biz jets will do the observation task as well as anything else. And they will do so for decades after the MiGs have fallen apart or are badly needing another expensive overhaul. Maybe a few neighbor countries would buy the service from Croatia instead of where they buy it today?



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 18159 times:
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Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 7):
Sure Croatia must have a way to fulfil its air policing task. But nowadays, for small countries which are overflown from end to end in minutes, it seems "old-fashioned" that every single country has its own assets. The easy way is to do like Slovenia and Albania - buy the service from friendly neighbors.

Several times the Royal Danish Air Force has done air policing for the three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It's done with a couple of F-16 from a base in Lithuania.

As far as I understand it, the MoD is trying to avoid this option specifically because of Slovenian experiences (though it is still on the table as a realistic option). In their case - with air policing provided by Italy and Hungary - the deal is said to be enormously expensive with very little to be gained, maybe several flights a year. Some informal estimates heard over the years even suggest that for Slovenia external air policing has come out nearly as expensive as operating a couple of jets itself... though the validity of this claim is hard to confirm.

Another point that the MoD is keen to stress is that, unlike Slovenia, Croatia already has an existing and operational (sic) fighter wing - and critically the crews and experience to go with it. While few remain actively flying, there are still significant cores of pilots within the AF with combat experience from the 90s civil war, and the MoD argues that it would be a great loss to let that experience (and the lessons learned) fade away... and even though this argument is used to fight the AF's corner, they do have a valid point.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 7):
But if Croatia wants to do it in-house, then what's the point using combat planes? A feasible radar, the special communication equipment and a camera is easily installed in a biz jet.

A few well used, second hand Learjets can be had for a bargain and can be maintained forever for a small fraction of fifty years old MiG-21s. And they can be used for several other tasks such as ambulance plane, VIP transport and such.

Geography tells us that should something stray into Croatian air space, then it has already been spotted by friendly neighbors. And if it hasn't, then no Mach 2 (or even Mach 3) fighter will catch up before it is out of Croatia anyway. And I am sure I am right when assuming that Croatia has no intention to be part in any air war (for which a handful of MiG-21s would be no use anyway).

The key problem here is that while this could work in practice, on paper it is no good at all (ironically). Had the issue been preserving the integrity of Croatian civil airspace alone, a high-performance unarmed aircraft could very well do the trick; however, the issue here is protecting and preserving the integrity of NATO airspace as well, which - as far as I understand - requires armed military aircraft able to engage intruders during wartime.

Another problem is that while the Learjet (for example) has stellar climb performance for a civil jet, it's not near enough that of a military type specifically designed for the job. It is true that in many situations this doesn't matter all that much - as you have mentioned, an unidentified aircraft would surely be spotted by some of the country's neighbors, giving ample warning and enough time to scramble a LJ that could meet the aircraft at the border and escort it through the country.

However, problems start if an airliner looses comms, deviates from its route or suffers an emergency within Croatia. The most frequented airways run the length of the country, giving stretches from 300 km (Northern Croatia to the border with Serbia) to nearly 500 km (Istria to the Montenegrin border) with typical flight times of between 20 and 40 minutes - long enough for a supersonic QRA fighter to scramble and intercept, but of questionable length for an LJ to climb 30-35,000 ft all while trying to catch up with a target that's moving at or above its own maximum speed.

Granted, this doesn't happen all that often and on its own doesn't warrant a full-blown fighter. A better solution I think could be the KAI F/A-50 - it's cheaper to buy and operate than a "classic" fighter, it has just enough performance while still being supersonic, it can serve on paper as a combat aircraft and still be used for day-to-day training. If anything - given that it's one of only two modern supersonic trainers - it can also be used for joint training with other NATO countries  .



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlinespudh From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 301 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 18125 times:

Here's a curveball,

Get someone like the Thunderjet guys to base themselves in Croatia flying Lightenings, Hunters or Canberra's. They might even incorporate the Mig 21's into their squadron. Between Croatia and Slovenia they could easily afford to sponsor a private commercial firm already in existence flying legacy fighters for fun to move and fulfill the policing requirement as part of their ongoing operations. Turn a military funding pit it into a tourist attraction.

Madcap, I know but the more you think about it, the more its got going for it.


User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4836 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 17951 times:

Subsonic yes, but since trainers and bizjets are already mentioned, any other misgivings about Aero Vodochody's L-159 ALCA filling the role?

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Acquisition and operation costs will likely be low, not too sure about upkeep. Performance may not be up there...one gets what one pays for. Besides, the manufacturer is just next door in case there is a problem.  

However, I agree that KAI's TA-50 would be a good, albeit costlier choice. Don't know how YAK-130 could fit in the political scheme of things.



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 17923 times:
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Quoting spudh (Reply 9):
Get someone like the Thunderjet guys to base themselves in Croatia flying Lightenings, Hunters or Canberra's. They might even incorporate the Mig 21's into their squadron.

One could only hope... I bet this would be a bigger tourist attraction than the Adriatic coast .

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 10):
Subsonic yes, but since trainers and bizjets are already mentioned, any other misgivings about Aero Vodochody's L-159 ALCA filling the role?

As an "interceptor", it's problem is still speed. Even though it is faster than most smaller bizjets, it would still have a hard time climbing and catching up with a stray airliner within the confines of Croatia.

Assuming that a supersonic trainer would also replace the CroAF's PC-9s in addition to providing air policing, another potential disadvantage of the L-159 is that it cannot be used as a trainer (unless the B model goes into production), necessitating that the AF keep its PC-9 fleet active. Then you again end up with two separate types that basically each have only one purpose, which drives costs up. Admittedly not near the levels of operating a full-blown fighter, but still above those of operating a single type suitable for both duties (in the scope needed by the Croatian AF).

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 10):
However, I agree that KAI's TA-50 would be a good, albeit costlier choice. Don't know how YAK-130 could fit in the political scheme of things.

Hm, forgot about the Yak  . However, if the cancelled fighter tender is anything to go by, the 130 would have quite a mountain to climb. The MiG-35, despite its very enticing offset package and being preferred by CroAF crews, had lost out pretty early in the competition because of various political and operational issues. Key points that were brought up had included the political ramifications of a NATO member state buying Russian hardware (especially when there are Western alternatives available), the lack of interoperability with other NATO types and the limited choice of armament, which was exclusively of Russian origin.

A more suitable - but again more expensive - alternative is the M-346. Almost the same aircraft, but developed and equipped to NATO standards... and given the industrial and economic ties between Italy and Croatia, Aermacchi would probably be content to shift a few examples this way  .

What is the price difference between the Yak-130 and the M-346?



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlinecolumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7063 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 17888 times:

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 2):
Exactly the same issue had also killed the German Phantom deal - even though the Luftwaffe was willing to pretty much donate the jets, the sheer costs associated with them (costs nearly equivalent to introducing a modern 4th generation aircraft)

Wow did not know that Germany has offered Phantoms, would have been nice to see them fly for another few years instead of scrapping them now.....



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 17875 times:
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Quoting columba (Reply 12):
Wow did not know that Germany has offered Phantoms, would have been nice to see them fly for another few years instead of scrapping them now.....

The idea was first mentioned publicly about a year ago  . The topic was known to resurface briefly since then, but nothing had been heard of it for last couple of months...

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...hantoms-to-replace-mig-21s-354585/



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 17729 times:

Quoting TripleDelta (Thread starter):
The possibility of buying new jets - or at least used aircraft of a newer generation - is said to be next to none.

That rules out the TA-50, and also German Phantoms even if they come for free - it's just too much machine to maintain. (And in a couple of years time you will have to buy spares in Iran).

On such a strapped budget the market is very slim, beyond keep "painting" the old MiGs.

One possibility might be the old Swiss F-5s? The Austrians rented some while awaiting their Gripens. Where are those F-5s today? I have heard that they were as good as new - very well kept by the Swiss Air Force (but then I think that I heard that from a Swiss source).

Otherwise, you mentioned yourself old F-16 Block 15. The Americans may still have such old birds in storage in good condition, and they might offer them on a tight budget. Just don't think that those planes are comparable to new - or old and updated F-16s when talking combat. They can't carry the modern weapons. And maintenance will be very expensive for a small fleet when done in-house. But maybe Greece will be happy to help with that.

Pilot training is a very important issue when choosing. Again, in-house isn't realistic on this small scale. With F-5 or F-16, leave a plane or two behind on a US training base, and tell the USAF to train your pilots all way when they know what is up and down in a C152.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 17693 times:
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Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 14):
That rules out the TA-50, and also German Phantoms even if they come for free - it's just too much machine to maintain. (And in a couple of years time you will have to buy spares in Iran).

Indeed, I'd suggested the FA-50 as a mid-to-long term solution - but not an immediate one. Cheaper than a conventional fighter (with the added bonus of replacing the PC-9 fleet), the funds for it could be made available much sooner, so it could enter service earlier and reduce the time that the old (and future) MiGs would need to be patched up.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 14):

One possibility might be the old Swiss F-5s? The Austrians rented some while awaiting their Gripens. Where are those F-5s today? I have heard that they were as good as new - very well kept by the Swiss Air Force (but then I think that I heard that from a Swiss source).

Otherwise, you mentioned yourself old F-16 Block 15. The Americans may still have such old birds in storage in good condition, and they might offer them on a tight budget. Just don't think that those planes are comparable to new - or old and updated F-16s when talking combat. They can't carry the modern weapons. And maintenance will be very expensive for a small fleet when done in-house. But maybe Greece will be happy to help with that.

The problem with both solutions is that the costs of retraining the crews and retooling the support system are considered too high for a simple interim solution - before we even get to maintenance. As I'd mentioned before, the AF would have to switch hurriedly from the old Soviet to the Western system, retool and restock on spares, retrain and reorganize - and then do the same thing all over again in a few years time if/when new jets arrive.

While this is all perfectly possible - as Italian F-16s have shown - a solution like this requires funds which the CroAF is believed to be unwilling to spend... or even have (especially when they're haggling over 30 year old jets that cost the same as a well-equipped bizprop   ). Another problem is that if such a deal were negotiated, it would set the CroAF pretty far back financially, delaying the purchase of new jets and leaving the short-term interim solution to become a medium-term measure. If the interim jets were of a generation and capability higher than the MiG-21, that would be okay, since they could then be expected to last longer in service... but for period jets, the economics are questionable...

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 14):
Pilot training is a very important issue when choosing. Again, in-house isn't realistic on this small scale. With F-5 or F-16, leave a plane or two behind on a US training base, and tell the USAF to train your pilots all way when they know what is up and down in a C152.

Training shouldn't be a problem. The CroAF already has a core of both experienced and younger MiG-21 pilots, so training for any short-to-medium term aircraft would likely boil down to just a type conversion and tactics rethink.



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4836 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 17643 times:

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 11):
A more suitable - but again more expensive - alternative is the M-346. Almost the same aircraft, but developed and equipped to NATO standards... and given the industrial and economic ties between Italy and Croatia, Aermacchi would probably be content to shift a few examples this way

I intentionally left out the Master which, with wins in Israel and Singapore, will have its advocates. And yes, Italy is next door, the Czechs are two doors up...my bad.  .

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 11):
What is the price difference between the Yak-130 and the M-346?

Unconfirmed figures put it at $15M for the Yak-130 and about $20M for the M-346.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 14):
One possibility might be the old Swiss F-5s? The Austrians rented some while awaiting their Gripens. Where are those F-5s today?

Reports say the US is buying back most of those.



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 17510 times:
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Quoting Devilfish (Reply 16):
Unconfirmed figures put it at $15M for the Yak-130 and about $20M for the M-346.

Hm, you're going to feel the difference between them with a dozen airframes...



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlinemig21umd From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 269 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 17406 times:

Mig 21 replacement and the construction of a new terminal at Zagreb Pleso seem to be a never ending Croatian story.

For me, second hand Mig 21s seems to be the only option for Croatia at this time and also a reasonable one. I think it would be a total shame to either spend 1 billion (ish) on a new fighter type in this current climate or totally scrap the fighter component of the CroAF.

But I believe it is important for Croatia to maintain a capability to move one day towards a modern air force and eventually to one which can field 2 to 3 squadrons of multi roll fighters. Despite being a member of Nato Croatia has to ask herself, if the shit really hits the fan again, will a third nation truly come to the aid of Croatia and put their own personnel at risk. History shows us that the answer is not likely unless the third country has their interest (financially or in terms of security) at risk. And, with nations all over the world limiting and reducing their military capabilities, especially the ones in Europe, will a third country have the available capability to defend Croatia in the time of a wider war or if there capability is already stretched due to other employments? In this scenario I do not think Croatia would be a priority to Nato and the wider western world so the requirement for a capable fighter force for Croatia should not be underestimated.

One thing I would like to see if Croatia does purchase more Mig 21s is an improvement on the offensive capability of the type. How effective can the R-60 still be in today’s counter measure environment?



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 17368 times:
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Quoting mig21umd (Reply 18):
Mig 21 replacement and the construction of a new terminal at Zagreb Pleso seem to be a never ending Croatian story.

Politics and money - always an unhealthy mix. However, the ZAG terminal issue seems to be dominated more by behind-the-scenes maneuvering, while the -21 replacement by a genuine lack of funds.

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 18):
Despite being a member of Nato Croatia has to ask herself, if the shit really hits the fan again, will a third nation truly come to the aid of Croatia and put their own personnel at risk.

We're quite a long way from shooting at each other again down here.

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 18):
One thing I would like to see if Croatia does purchase more Mig 21s is an improvement on the offensive capability of the type. How effective can the R-60 still be in today’s counter measure environment?

Why would the MiGs need improved offensive firepower - and conceivably who would they use it against?



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlinemig21umd From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 269 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 17261 times:

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 19):
We're quite a long way from shooting at each other again down here.

Of course peace and stability will be enhanced with countries in the region joining major European trade orgainsations and military alliances which Croatia has or is about to complete and Serbia (Croatian most obvious possible 'shooting' opponent) to do so in the next decade but there is a cinder box in the region called Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am all for a unified BiH but Republica Srbska obviously has an ambition to break away and join main land Serbia and with the nationalist party still the most popular one in Serbia they have political and popular support for this. Former Croatian President Stipe Mesic said before he left office that an attempt like this would lead to Croatian military intervention.

The issue with Kosovo still has the potential to lead to conflict. Again a change of government in Serbia to a more nationalistic one could force a set a circumstances which lead to open conflict in that region. We have already seen a number of people killed in the past few months in clashes between opposing groups in Kosovo.

Events such as this usually set off a type of domino effect which with instability in the region could directly or indirectly affect Croatia and her economy. This is why in my opinion a moderate but well equipped military, including a modern fighter force is actually a good investment for Croatia.

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 19):
Why would the MiGs need improved offensive firepower - and conceivably who would they use it against?

I understand that the region is nowhere near conflict and the above paragraphs I wrote are an extreme scenario but Croatia cannot be naive and ignore that Serbia has R-73 equipped Mig-29s. Even if just 2 are airworthy, Croatian R-60 equipped Mig-21s will have absolutely no chance and would surrender control of the skies quite easily. The scenario which worries me the most is the one which involves BiH.



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 17233 times:
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Quoting mig21umd (Reply 20):
Of course peace and stability will be enhanced with countries in the region joining major European trade orgainsations and military alliances which Croatia has or is about to complete and Serbia (Croatian most obvious possible 'shooting' opponent) to do so in the next decade but there is a cinder box in the region called Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am all for a unified BiH but Republica Srbska obviously has an ambition to break away and join main land Serbia and with the nationalist party still the most popular one in Serbia they have political and popular support for this. Former Croatian President Stipe Mesic said before he left office that an attempt like this would lead to Croatian military intervention.

The issue with Kosovo still has the potential to lead to conflict. Again a change of government in Serbia to a more nationalistic one could force a set a circumstances which lead to open conflict in that region. We have already seen a number of people killed in the past few months in clashes between opposing groups in Kosovo.

Please take no offense, but your views of Serbia - apparently formed under the influence of nationalist Croatian media that regularly spews out nonsense like this - bear very little resemblance to the Serbia that actually is. While it is undeniable that Kosovo and Republika Srpska are hotspots for political problems in the Balkans - and that nationalism is on the rise across the peninsula - they are nowhere near serious enough to cause any sort of military action that would spill outside their borders... the days of Milošević, Izetbegović and Tuđman are long gone.

And do you honestly think that Serbia, surrounded by (and up to its neck in) NATO members, burdened with an aggressor image from previous Balkan wars, struggling with a shoddy economy, and on its way to join the EU and fully normalize relations with its ex-Yu neighbors, would attack a NATO and EU member state and risk 1999 all over again over an internal political squabble and some minor sabre rattling? This is Serbia, not North Korea.

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 20):
I understand that the region is nowhere near conflict and the above paragraphs I wrote are an extreme scenario but Croatia cannot be naive and ignore that Serbia has R-73 equipped Mig-29s. Even if just 2 are airworthy, Croatian R-60 equipped Mig-21s will have absolutely no chance and would surrender control of the skies quite easily. The scenario which worries me the most is the one which involves BiH.

I do not want to sound rude, but please read back what you have written. You are proposing that Croatia - at great expense - modernizes 40 year old aircraft to carry expensive high tech weaponry that it will never use against an imaginary attack from an under-equipped air force that (like the CroAF) will fall out of the sky on its own well before getting into firing range?

This is a bit much even for the usual diaspora fear mongering.



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlinemig21umd From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 269 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 17193 times:

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 21):
I do not want to sound rude, but please read back what you have written. You are proposing that Croatia - at great expense - modernizes 40 year old aircraft to carry expensive high tech weaponry that it will never use against an imaginary attack from an under-equipped air force that (like the CroAF) will fall out of the sky on its own well before getting into firing range?

In your original post you mentioned the possibility that the replacement Mig-21s may come from Romania and could be of the Lancer type. If I remember correctly the Lancer is R-73 missile capable so why would it be so expensive to include this type of offensive fire power to the deal especially since you’re of the opinion that 'air policing' by Italy or Hungary might be an even more expensive option for Croatia?

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 21):
Please take no offense, but your views of Serbia - apparently formed under the influence of nationalist Croatian media that regularly spews out nonsense like this

Here I have to take offense because you are making assumptions about me personally which are not correct and when I clearly only have a different view on if and why Croatia needs to have a capable air force. I mention Serbia because for others on this forum it is the most obvious way to illustrate my point. I was trying to be as clear as possible that I do not believe a war in the region is likely especially in the short term but I will admit that I may have painted a bleak picture of Serbia which is not reflective of the current political climate.

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 21):
This is a bit much even for the usual diaspora fear mongering.

This is a bit harsh; remember the Diaspora did a lot for Croatia during the war years.



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 17186 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 22):
In your original post you mentioned the possibility that the replacement Mig-21s may come from Romania and could be of the Lancer type. If I remember correctly the Lancer is R-73 missile capable so why would it be so expensive to include this type of offensive fire power to the deal especially since you’re of the opinion that 'air policing' by Italy or Hungary might be an even more expensive option for Croatia?

The same question still stands - why would the CroAF throw away good money (of which there is very little at the best of times) on weapons it has no one to fire at? Especially since the "new" MiGs, whatever their source, would be an interim measure and would be replaced - if all goes well - in 5-7 years time by Western aircraft... aircraft that couldn't use the proposed missiles anyway.

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 22):
Here I have to take offense because you are making assumptions about me personally which are not correct and when I clearly only have a different view on if and why Croatia needs to have a capable air force. I mention Serbia because for others on this forum it is the most obvious way to illustrate my point.

By using an irrelevant, inaccurate, nonsensical - and frankly quite offensive - stereotype?

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 22):
I was trying to be as clear as possible that I do not believe a war in the region is likely especially in the short term but I will admit that I may have painted a bleak picture of Serbia which is not reflective of the current political climate.

Bleak it definitely was (with my emphasis added):

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 20):
I understand that the region is nowhere near conflict and the above paragraphs I wrote are an extreme scenario but Croatia cannot be naive and ignore that Serbia has R-73 equipped Mig-29s

Other than as a factual statement about the Serbian AF's order of battle, I fail to see how this is relevant to the re-equipment of the Croatian Air Force - unless you hold a firm belief that a new cross-border war is going to erupt soon.

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 22):
This is a bit harsh; remember the Diaspora did a lot for Croatia during the war years.

Granted. But the war is over, and the tainted views of some of the diaspora on how the country should be run are now doing more bother than good.



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineF27Friendship From Netherlands, joined Jul 2007, 1125 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 17135 times:

How are talks going with Slovenia to make a joined effort in air policing and QRA?
I believe they have a basic pilot training program with their PC-9s and I guess sharing the cost of a single squadron that could cover both countries would make a lot of sense. Why not team up with Hungary as well? I believe they are leasing their Gripen's which could be more economical than buying. I also understood the offset package with Sweden's industry including interesting options for the Navy and Army was the most promising one.

I hope it will be India, if they choose to buy "new" MiG-21s. The Bison is a very nimble and capable machine (and exotic!).

Nevertheless, I think everyone agrees that the last thing Croatia needs now is brand new fighters.
Are the canadair fire-fighter aircraft replaced already?

I've been in one of the new Mi-171s which looked very nice BTW.

[Edited 2012-03-14 13:37:30]

25 Post contains images TripleDelta : All quiet so far. Nothing was heard of the issue for almost a year now... but it seems that the MoD is going through its options, so it's probably no
26 BEG2IAH : TripleDelta, It's always nice to read your informed posts. This was a very good read. Thanks. BEG2IAH
27 mig21umd : Damn, I was just trying to get my view across. Do you react to everyone this way who does not agree with your point of view? I find this statement off
28 Post contains images TripleDelta : Your opinion I have nothing against - it's the delivery I find appalling. The war had ended 17 years ago. Many people in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia h
29 Post contains links TripleDelta : To bring the discussion by to topic, I've found an expanded version of the article I'd mentioned in the opening post: http://www.jutarnji.hr/kupit-cem
30 Post contains links BEG2IAH : mig21umd, I'm not sure what's the source of your information, but this simply is not true and your views are extremely biased. Here's one source that
31 TripleDelta : Found a bit of additional news in the papers this morning: in an effort to reduce expenses, the armed forces have announced reductions, layoffs and eq
32 Post contains links and images TripleDelta : Just to sidetrack the MiG-21 issue a bit further, it looks like the MoD will indeed buy some new equipment next year - the PC-12M Spectre(s), intended
33 Post contains links TripleDelta : Looks like the MiGs really are here to stay. According to this article (in Croatian), the President - acting as Supreme Commander - and his cabinet ha
34 Oroka : Buy some Gripens, make a deal with Hungary to place a squadron at their base. Shared support facilities, training, logistics... even mixed squadrons,
35 TripleDelta : Given that little of this system would physically be in Croatia - and that the CroAF would have reduced control over patrolling its airspace - I gath
36 Oroka : It could be a joint effort, the patrol needs of Croatia and Hungary would be the same mission, it would cover both countries, not just fly down the bo
37 Post contains links SAS A340 : or not..... According to a Swedish newspaper,Croatia is closer to a 8-12 Gripen buy.... Link only in Swedish. http://www.di.se/#!/artiklar/2012/10/8/
38 sweair : If it was possible maybe Serbia+Croatia+Slovenia could pool some fighters, say a few gripens. With Turkey growing in power and influence, these 3 nati
39 TripleDelta : What the Swedish article failed to mention is that in Jutarnji list Kotromanovic was also quoted saying "The MoD does not have the funds for buying n
40 TripleDelta : Another issue that could throw the financial spanner into the Gripen works is the MoD's intention to modernize the country's old Mi-8 fleet. Still fly
41 Post contains images SAS A340 : Lets wait and see what SAAB propose on wednesday...perhaps SAAB offer Croatia to use the Gripen at zero cost,the first two years....
42 Post contains images TripleDelta : Actually, that was mentioned at some point in the negotiations (I believe recently as well) - the first two years Croatia would be able to use the je
43 jollo : I've been waiting for someone to take on the M-346 Master sponsor role, but since nobody's stepping forward I'll take the bait: * 5 new examples would
44 Post contains links SAS A340 : Today it came..... http://fxm.se/blog/gripen-erbjudande-till-kroatien Bing translate: Today, leaving the Defence export agency, FXM, an offer to Croat
45 Post contains images TripleDelta : Now we wait . Though I myself am not really hopeful on a positive outcome - no matter how hard SAAB pitches its case. The country's BDP is in the red
46 Post contains images SAS A340 : Yes,should be interesting to see the outcome . Do we have a date for final decision?
47 TripleDelta : Nothing reported so far.
48 TripleDelta : A new (albeit short) article that has been published recently suggests that the deal - IF it goes through - would be signed by the beginning of Januar
49 mig21umd : So if the contract is signed in January 2013, then the question is will Croatia be in a position to start paying for the aircraft from January 2015? A
50 Post contains images mandala499 : Indonesia reviewed the L-159, Yak-130, M-146, and T/F/A-50... the latter won. Overall it's a better aircraft, cheap running costs, expandable capabil
51 TripleDelta : If the deal includes the mentioned provision for a two-year free lease period. The specifics keep changing; the newest info I've heard is that SAAB's
52 Post contains images TripleDelta : Even though "unofficial" is used as every second word, a new newspaper article sheds some light on SAAB's offer . Some of the highlights as: the offer
53 sweair : The current Gripen is not that modern really, it is mostly a 90´s design with roots in the 80´s. With the NG it will be more equal to other current
54 jollo : That's because of the afterburner, isn't it? Otherwhise, on dry thrust the M-346 is sligthly better and the a/c is significantly lighter, should clim
55 Post contains links TripleDelta : Some updated information filtering in through the press: the total offer is priced at EUR 611 million (excluding interest), which covers eight aircraf
56 Post contains images SAS A340 : but still unaffordable? But still unaffordable? Also that unaffordable? But still unafodabble? Well,SAAB cant give them away for free,that's for sure
57 Post contains images mandala499 : T-50? Dry? 11,925lbf Wet? 17,700lbf Weight? 14,200 to 29,700lbs. M346? 12,500lbf (2x 6,250), Weight? 10,165lbs - 20,945lbs. Sure... speeds? M1.4-1.5
58 Post contains images TripleDelta : Yes. If I understand what is reported correctly, the deal is considered to be too expensive for what it offers. SAAB had been promising mountains and
59 Post contains images SAS A340 : No worries It is what it is,just to move on... That i am sure of
60 Post contains links and images TripleDelta : Some additional (slightly more concrete) info from one of the country's biggest daily newspapers... Apparently, the EUR 611 million price quoted above
61 Post contains images sweair : Sweden ordered 204 Gripen and currently use about 100, we have a pile of them not being used and with the meager defence budget there will probably be
62 Post contains images jollo : Thanks for the data, but help me figure this out: at half-load (short-range air intercept mission, most of the load is fuel: let's say 21,950lbs for
63 Post contains images mandala499 : There's more to it than just numbers. The thrust numbers are thrust generated at sea level... and when not moving. Once you put in speed, and altitud
64 Post contains images TripleDelta : Most of the traffic above Croatia comprises aircraft in transit from Western Europe to the Near and Middle East, which implies altitudes between 30 a
65 Post contains links TripleDelta : The plot thickens... a new article (in Croatian here) makes mention of another offer that had been received on Thursday, this time from Russia. As par
66 Post contains links and images Devilfish : This is certainly a major, very important factor. But also critical for us is the need for an advanced jet trainer minus the expense of a separate fl
67 Post contains images mandala499 : Given that and the size of the country, ironically... MiG-21 is ideal... if only today is 20 years ago! It depends on which school of thought you'd t
68 Post contains links TripleDelta : Some more news: looks like the MiGs really are here to stay. According to this article (in Croatian), the procurement committee has decided to keep th
69 Post contains links and images SAS A340 : Since we couldn't sell you this View Large View MediumPhoto © Elia Lechner perhaps this one is of grater interest,it stands in front of a outlet sto
70 Post contains images TripleDelta : Actually, virtually all operational examples are nearing the ends of their service lives, which is expected to happen during 2013. The whole fighter
71 Post contains links and images Devilfish : All the more if it would win this..... http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...t-generation-trainer-needs-377784/ Would be glad to discuss it in the P
72 thunderboltdrgn : Saab Viggens? They have all been scrapped. Even the 37-1 prototype have been scrapped. Or almost all of them. there is 1 in flying condition owned by
73 Post contains links TripleDelta : Apparently, these may be the very aircraft that the CroAF is intending to buy; the previously mentioned Yemeni examples that were sent to the Ukraine
74 Post contains links and images TripleDelta : Some more news... an article published in the local news available in Croatian here) had decided to add some more fuel to the fire with some new and
75 TripleDelta : So, it's official: the CroAF has decided to upgrade several existing MiG-21s and buy a few more to bring the fleet up to 12 operational examples. The
76 Post contains links mig21umd : http://www.croatiantimes.com/news/Ge...ia_to_repair_MIG_planes_in_Ukraine Looks like we finally have an answer. 7 Migs will be sent to Ukraine for ove
77 Post contains images TripleDelta : An expected outcome, since the Ukrainian bid was EUR 6 million (or thereabouts) lower than the Romanian one. However, it remains to be seen whether c
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