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TripleDelta
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Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:43 pm

Here's a bit of welcome news for the Croatian Air Force. The Ministry of Defense has signed agreements for three new AT-802s and two CL-415s to boost its numbers during the summer fire season, which would bring the total fleet sizes to 4 and 6 respectively. (sources: Minstry of Defense (Croatian only) and the printed 27 Nov - 3 Dec edition of Flight International). The first AT-802 is due to be delivered by the end of January 2008, with the other two by May. No news yet on delivery dates for the Canadairs.

Meanwhile, the first two Mi-171s - out of a batch of 10 - are due to arrive shortly, transported in the insides of an An-124, to the delight of local spotters...  bigthumbsup .

The AF has gone on a bit of a shopping spree lately... first Mi-171s, then Zlin 242s, AT-802s and CL-415s...
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N74JW
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:34 am

Great news!

What does the AF use the AT-802 for, glider tug?
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mig21umd
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:23 am



Quoting N74JW (Reply 1):
What does the AF use the AT-802 for, glider tug?

The are used as water bombers, fighting fires.

'No news yet on delivery dates for the Canadairs.' .... These may by a few years away since there is a backlog of close to two years for the CL415


Re' the Zlins, are they being used yet?

TripleDelta,

Any news you have re' Croatian air force is always appreciated. Thanks for and keep up the post.

Cheers.
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mig21umd
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:29 am



Quoting TripleDelta (Thread starter):
(sources: Minstry of Defense (Croatian only)

http://www.morh.hr/en/vijesti_main_en.asp?id=491

Link in english.
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:11 am



Quoting N74JW (Reply 1):
What does the AF use the AT-802 for, glider tug?

As Mig21UMD said, they're used for fighting forest fires in less accessible areas. Though the current examples - all one of them Big grin - lack the "scoop as you go" functionality of the Candairs, their smaller size and greater agility in tight environments make up for it. The MoD seems to be going in the right direction in ordering the "Fire Boss" amphibian version - if that's indeed the version they ordered.

Good show by the AF in operating a mixed fleet, rather than just one or the other. The current firefighting fleet is pretty stretched, with the crews flying literally dawn to dusk during the fire season.

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 2):
Re' the Zlins, are they being used yet?

As far as I'm informed yes, they're - at least the delivered examples - already down at ZAD and I think some sort of conversion training is going on.
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:38 am

great news!

I was fortunate to see an AN-124 take of from Zagreb international last wednesday, that must have been the delivery of the choppers right?
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:16 am



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 5):
I was fortunate to see an AN-124 take of from Zagreb international last wednesday, that must have been the delivery of the choppers right?

Yes, that was the one. It had arrived Tuesday evening, round 6:30 PM.
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:19 pm

Have they ever decided on their fighter jets yet as to what they are going to purchase?
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:46 am



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 7):
Have they ever decided on their fighter jets yet as to what they are going to purchase?

Not yet. I think - though I can't vouch for it - that the decision should be made in the first months of '08.
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:40 pm



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 8):
Not yet. I think - though I can't vouch for it - that the decision should be made in the first months of '08.

ok if you can let us know when your hear.
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:55 pm



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 8):
Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 7):
Have they ever decided on their fighter jets yet as to what they are going to purchase?

Not yet. I think - though I can't vouch for it - that the decision should be made in the first months of '08.

Is there any indication what airplane(s) they're considering?
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:19 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 10):
Is there any indication what airplane(s) they're considering?

The two biggest players are LM with the F-16 and SAAB with the Gripen. Dassault with the Mirage F1 and 2000 was also mentioned in the press, as was MiG with the MiG-35. There's more on the subject in this thread.
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:54 am

The morning paper today ran an interesting two-page article on the ongoing fighter competition, outlining the companies and jets in question. The Ministry of Defense has sent requests for information ("requests for proposals" would I think be a better translation) to LM (F-16), Dassault (Mirage F1), MiG (MiG-35) and SAAB (JAS-39) for 12 airframes to enter service in 2011, when the current fleet of MiG-21s is expected to be fully decommissioned.

The MoD is looking at both new and used aircraft, citing sale conditions, price, delivery dates and performance as determining factors. "Diplomatic" ones are also being considered. The article has also provided a short breakdown of the pros and cons of each aircraft in question:

F-16: the MoD stated that it was looking for 10-year old airframes. Possible sources are Belgium, the Netherlands and the "warehouse of the Minnesota Air Guard". It is also said that LM could offer the jets for free, but under the condition that they be upgraded in-house. However, someone in the MoD had estimated that this option could be almost as expensive as buying new aircraft outright.

Of the aircraft itself, the F-16's advantages for the CroAF are quality, easy crew conversion and commonality, as 40 countries worldwide operate them. The disadvantages are the large-ish required changes in infrastructure, the number of support companies required to provide logistics for it and its inability to operate from contaminated runways (foreign-object-wise) due to its low-slung intake.

Mirage F1: pretty much the same deal as with used F-16s, cheap airframe, expensive upgrade.

The advantage of the aircraft itself is its multifunctionality, but the disadvantage is that it's currently not used by any European country (I guess we can erase Spain and France off the maps of Europe then).

MiG-35: a real nugget, MiG is said to be "vigorously preparing" to offer the -35, almost as much as SAAB with the Gripen. The first hurdle they have to overcome is the "diplomatic" issue, as it is said that choosing a new fighter type will give indication of where Croatia's "allegiance lies". To quote the article: "As an aircraft deal brings other businesses as well, Croatia would in this case firmly 'station' Russia in South-Eastern Europe, something that would not be to the liking of Croatia's Western allies. Vukadinovic [a professor of intl relations here] doesn't advise buying MiGs now that Croatia is entering NATO. 'This hasn't been done by a single member of the Alliance [NATO], so I don't see why should Croatia do it.' ".

Politics aside, plus points go to the -35 for maneuverability and the available ordnance arsenal, while the downsides are high operating costs and dependence on Russian weaponry.

JAS-39: SAAB has been lobbying very hard for the Gripen and has offered 4 corvettes as part of the deal (as mentioned in this thread).

Its biggest advantage is excellent mutlifunctionality, while the disadvantage is that parts are produced in a number of different countries, pointing to potential logistics problems like with the F-16.


The whole contract would be worth around $700.000.000, and the MoD expects the four manufacturers to submit their offers by the end of March 2008. Should the MoD fail to choose a winner, Croatia may be left fighter-less in 2011., the current MiGs running out of life in 2010.

Another interesting bit of news from the same article is that Croatian and Slovenian pilots are supporting an idea for Croatia and Slovenia jointly buying fighter aircraft, in which case the number would be upped to 16 airframes. The main fighter base for both countries would be moved to Cerklje in Slovenia (a stone's throw from the border), ZAG would be demilitarized and another smaller base would be constructed in Eastern Croatia. Apparently, NATO and the EU are supportive of the idea, however, Slovenia doesn't have provisions for fighter aircraft in their budget, and we'd first have to iron out our sometimes fiery relations...

[Edited 2007-12-11 00:56:05]
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:16 am

Does anyone know what the price of such an Mi-171 is today? Western models range between 15 and 30Mil$, but I presume a Mi-171 is significantly cheaper?!
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:34 am



Quoting PADSpot (Reply 13):
Does anyone know what the price of such an Mi-171 is today? Western models range between 15 and 30Mil$, but I presume a Mi-171 is significantly cheaper?!

The CroAF deal cost $65 million for 10 examples - with transport, support and training, somewhere around 6.3-6.5 million per unit, though our versions were modified with Western equipment not available in the original package (don't know what equipment that is).
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:05 pm

thanks for the extensive update! I think the Slovenians should first extend the highways all the way to the Croatian border  Wink Would historically also be funny that the Slovenians and Croats would jointly operate an air force again.

I think Gripen would be the best plane. Allthough 12 seams a very low number, even for only QRA operations.
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:23 pm



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 15):
thanks for the extensive update! I think the Slovenians should first extend the highways all the way to the Croatian border Wink Would historically also be funny that the Slovenians and Croats would jointly operate an air force again.

It's not extending the highways that's the problem - it's finishing the existing ones  biggrin . Driving toward Ljubljana is an alternation of 130 kmh highway and 80 kmh rural road... both with considerable ups and downs.

But it would be interesting to see. The article mentioned that the SloAF budget is currently geared toward transports, without provision for fighter aircraft.

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 15):
Allthough 12 seams a very low number, even for only QRA operations.

I'd say the number is more than adequate. 12 fully-functioning aircraft would be about equivalent to the current MiG fleet strength (including three operational two-seat trainers). I personally believe there's no real need for a large QRA fleet - above two or three aircraft at any rate. Light the blower and you can reach any part of the country in about 20-25 minutes if flying from ZAG, cut it down to about 10-15 minutes if flying from both ZAG and ZAD (the current unofficial round-the-country record in a MiG-21 is about 1 hour 35 minutes). Plus, we don't really need to be worried about Backfires and Bears flying around here...
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:04 pm



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 16):
It's not extending the highways that's the problem - it's finishing the existing ones . Driving toward Ljubljana is an alternation of 130 kmh highway and 80 kmh rural road... both with considerable ups and downs.

I know! I was talking about the same thing  Wink

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 16):
I'd say the number is more than adequate. 12 fully-functioning aircraft would be about equivalent to the current MiG fleet strength (including three operational two-seat trainers). I personally believe there's no real need for a large QRA fleet - above two or three aircraft at any rate. Light the blower and you can reach any part of the country in about 20-25 minutes if flying from ZAG, cut it down to about 10-15 minutes if flying from both ZAG and ZAD (the current unofficial round-the-country record in a MiG-21 is about 1 hour 35 minutes). Plus, we don't really need to be worried about Backfires and Bears flying around here...

In other topics the number of jets to have 2 planes on QRA seamed to be around 20? Does this mean there will be only one on QRA?
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:26 pm



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 15):
I think the Slovenians should first extend the highways all the way to the Croatian border Wink

Please not!!!! I still remember that rural road vividly. Been to Crikvenica with the girlfriend in 2004 and still remember the landscape at that road. The GF dubbed it "hobbit land" because the landscaped look as if it was scaled down by half. Small roads, small hills, small forests, small houses the narrow road gently curling through the landscape ... very "cute".  Smile  cheerful 

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 14):
The CroAF deal cost $65 million for 10 examples - with transport, support and training, somewhere around 6.3-6.5 million per unit, though our versions were modified with Western equipment not available in the original package (don't know what equipment that is).

My estimate was 5Mil$. So not a bad guess.
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:02 pm



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 17):
In other topics the number of jets to have 2 planes on QRA seamed to be around 20? Does this mean there will be only one on QRA?

I must admit that personally I do know. Given that the only foreseeable situation down here requiring fighter interception is a non-responsive airliner - which would probably be out of the country by the time something gets airborne to intercept it  biggrin  - one would probably do it, if the AF keeps any A/C on QRA at all...

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 18):
Small roads, small hills, small forests, small houses the narrow road gently curling through the landscape ... very "cute".

It's a small country...  duck 

BTW, stay tuned for some Mi-171 pics tomorrow afternoon. Got press access for the official ceremony  bouncy 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:05 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 12):
The Ministry of Defense has sent requests for information ("requests for proposals" would I think be a better translation) to LM (F-16), Dassault (Mirage F1), MiG (MiG-35) and SAAB (JAS-39) for 12 airframes to enter service in 2011, when the current fleet of MiG-21s is expected to be fully decommissioned.

If the MoD had already gone through the exploratory phase of stating its general requirements - asking the manufacturers what they could offer for consideration and was responded to and do not need additional information, then an RFP stipulating a more detailed criteria and narrowing the candidates to those most closely meeting the first requirements, would indeed be issued next.

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 12):
JAS-39: SAAB has been lobbying very hard for the Gripen and has offered 4 corvettes as part of the deal (as mentioned in this thread).

Its biggest advantage is excellent mutlifunctionality, while the disadvantage is that parts are produced in a number of different countries, pointing to potential logistics problems like with the F-16.

I read where the MoD is looking at new and used aircraft, but have the Air Force stated whether the Gripens to be proposed would preferably be new-builds, SweAF samples upgraded to C/D standard, or excess, reconditioned A/B models?

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 12):
The whole contract would be worth around $700.000.000, and the MoD expects the four manufacturers to submit their offers by the end of March 2008. Should the MoD fail to choose a winner, Croatia may be left fighter-less in 2011., the current MiGs running out of life in 2010.

If the selection and award processes are anywhere as condensed as the RFP period, this could be the most expeditious fighter acquisition yet, comparatively speaking.

[Edited 2007-12-11 15:10:50]
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mig21umd
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:16 am

Interesting times....

I still remember when Croatia almost became an F16 operator in the late 1990's but the US state department did not let Croatia have them.

I am very surprised that the F1 is being considered, I'm sure it is a great aircraft but can it be compared with a modern F16 or Gripen?

TripleDelta,

Looking forward to the Photo's...... Some cockpit and armaments (if it is on show) shots would be great.
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:28 am



Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 20):
If the MoD had already gone through the exploratory phase of stating its general requirements - asking the manufacturers what they could offer for consideration and was responded to and do not need additional information, then an RFP stipulating a more detailed criteria and narrowing the candidates to those most closely meeting the first requirements, would indeed be issued next.

The article phrasing was a bit vague, but I think it may be the former. The MoD has sent requirements for general information such as prices, delivery dates, performance and so on.

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 20):
I read where the MoD is looking at new and used aircraft, but have the Air Force stated whether the Gripens to be proposed would preferably be new-builds, SweAF samples upgraded to C/D standard, or excess, reconditioned A/B models?

The article did not mention used Gripens, and I personally don't remember reading about that option at all. The only second-hand aircraft deals mentioned were for the Mirages (previously 2000 and F1, now just F1) and the F-16.

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 20):
If the selection and award processes are anywhere as condensed as the RFP period, this could be the most expeditious fighter acquisition yet, comparatively speaking.

The new aircraft are expected to enter service in 2011., so with a training period of two years prior (from the article), it could indeed be fast. You get the feeling that time is not really on the MoD's side now, since when the MiG-21s run out of life, game over. Some or other politician will probably push for them being used a year longer to eek out the last bits of life from them, but this probably won't go down well with the pilots...

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 21):
I still remember when Croatia almost became an F16 operator in the late 1990's but the US state department did not let Croatia have them.

On a funnier note, back in the day a politician or party was boldly claiming that Croatia is going to buy much more advanced hardware than that - F-22s no less  biggrin . If I remember correctly - was a kid still at the time - the prototype hadn't even got off the ground yet...

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 21):
I am very surprised that the F1 is being considered, I'm sure it is a great aircraft but can it be compared with a modern F16 or Gripen?

I was also surprised to see Mirages of any type in the running. Don't get me wrong, I love them, especially the 2000, but they didn't strike me as aircraft ideally suited for Croatia. The 2000 is a bit of a hot-ship and doesn't really have that much load-carrying capability and multifunctionality, something important in an airforce whose front-line strength is a tad over 10 aircraft. The F1 looks like a good choice when you think about it, it can haul a lot of stuff and can be used for a variety of roles - like the F-16 - but is a comparatively rare aircraft, with only two operators in Europe and a handful more in the world. And it's an old design, like the F-16, but without the latter's upgrade programs and "customization options". But it's durable and can operate from contaminated runways and in rough environments, which may have influenced the MoD decision to include them in the competition.

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 21):
Looking forward to the Photo's...... Some cockpit and armaments (if it is on show) shots would be great.

Judging by a recent video report from the Ulan-Ude factory, the cockpit won't be anything out-of-this world, a modernized analogue cockpit of the old Mi-8, fitted with a separate weather radar screen bolted onto the console, GPS and civil transponder. No EFIS, much to our regret.

The boom-booms will probably be fitted, but are limited to unguided rocket packs.
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:42 pm



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 22):
Judging by a recent video report from the Ulan-Ude factory, the cockpit won't be anything out-of-this world, a modernized analogue cockpit of the old Mi-8, fitted with a separate weather radar screen bolted onto the console, GPS and civil transponder. No EFIS, much to our regret.

Surprised again, I thought the Mi-171s had an EFIS cockpit.

BTW France and Spain were mentioned before as the only F1 operators in Europe, what about Greece are have there aircraft been retired?
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:48 pm

On another note, December issue of Airforce Monthly has an article about Noble Midas 07 (NATO exercise held in Croatian in October) It mentions that Croatian Mig21s were involved in ' Dissimilar Air Combat Training' against NATO F16Cs, with dogfights taking place above 15000ft. Does anyone have any more info regarding this?

Would be interesting to find out if The Croatian Migs managed some simulated 'kills'
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:03 pm



Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 23):
Surprised again, I thought the Mi-171s had an EFIS cockpit.

Some do, depends on the equipment package ordered.

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 23):

BTW France and Spain were mentioned before as the only F1 operators in Europe, what about Greece are have there aircraft been retired?

Going through the DB with the same idea, I saw that they're all retired now.

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 24):
It mentions that Croatian Mig21s were involved in ' Dissimilar Air Combat Training' against NATO F16Cs, with dogfights taking place above 15000ft.

MiG-21bis vs F-16C. How dissimilar can you get?

Photos of Mi-171s pending  biggrin 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:06 pm

photos in the queue, waiting for screeners
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:00 pm



Quoting PADSpot (Reply 18):
Please not!!!! I still remember that rural road vividly. Been to Crikvenica with the girlfriend in 2004 and still remember the landscape at that road. The GF dubbed it "hobbit land" because the landscaped look as if it was scaled down by half. Small roads, small hills, small forests, small houses the narrow road gently curling through the landscape ... very "cute".

come on! if you want to see farmland, go to Bavaria, I just want to get to the beautiful coast as soon as possible! Big grin
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:31 pm

If I were Croatia, I would go with the Gripen. Could there be a market here for retired Swedish AJS-37s? Probably not, but I would love to see the Viggen fly again!
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 25, 2007 6:38 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 22):
The article did not mention used Gripens, and I personally don't remember reading about that option at all. The only second-hand aircraft deals mentioned were for the Mirages (previously 2000 and F1, now just F1) and the F-16.

SAAB are unwilling to propose 12 used JAS 39A/Bs for just $700M? In an "as is" condition, $58M+ per frame including weapons, ancilliaries, training and support - is very reasonable. It might even buy an upgrade to C/D standard. Or could it be that the CroAF really want new-build Gripens?

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 25):
Photos of Mi-171s pending



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 25):
photos in the queue, waiting for screeners

We'll have to settle for this then, in the meantime.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ceives-new-mi-171-helicopters.html

Oops.....

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tomislav Muic - CroSpotterTeam
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Boran Pivcic - CroSpotterTeam



[Edited 2007-12-25 10:43:09]
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:36 pm



Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 29):
Or could it be that the CroAF really want new-build Gripens?

The upper echelons - some of which still live in socialist times - would probably be dazzled and awed by something new and shiny, without considering more reasonable alternatives, like the used A/B Gripens. Reading about what's contained the C/D upgrade in the other CroAF thread, I'd say the base A/B models would be fine as they are.

In the near term, it's not like we're gonna need air-to-air refueling on our 500 km stretch of coastline, though it may become useful in the long run, should the CroAF start participating in international missions. However, at the present time, when sending a single transporter to Afganistan is a logistic stretch, we can rule that out for the time being. Should we, at a later date, require the capabilities offered by the C/D upgrade, it would be an easy job to retrofit the A/B models.

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 29):
We'll have to settle for this then, in the meantime.....


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tomislav Muic - CroSpotterTeam
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Boran Pivcic - CroSpotterTeam



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Goran Maravic



And here are some more pics, not many of A.net quality (need to be lightened a bit):

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f229/TripleDelta/Mi-171Sh/Mi171_flyby_01.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f229/TripleDelta/Mi-171Sh/Mi171_flyby_04.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f229/TripleDelta/Mi-171Sh/Mi171_H220_01.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f229/TripleDelta/Mi-171Sh/Mi171_H221_02.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f229/TripleDelta/Mi-171Sh/Mi171_H221_03.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f229/TripleDelta/Mi-171Sh/Mi171_H221_04.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f229/TripleDelta/Mi-171Sh/Mi171_H221_05.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f229/TripleDelta/Mi-171Sh/Mi171_H221_06.jpg
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Devilfish
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Dec 25, 2007 11:58 pm



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 30):

In the near term, it's not like we're gonna need air-to-air refueling on our 500 km stretch of coastline, though it may become useful in the long run, should the CroAF start participating in international missions.

Coalition tankers would likely fill that void during joint operations. NATO inter-operability and interest suggest that LockMart might aggresively price if they'd be up against new-build Gripens. The weak dollar and the by now just gravy that could be made out of this potential deal may prompt them to put together a similar killer package that snatched the RMAF contract from the Rafale recently. Then add the "diplomatic" angle to those.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/data/assets/10385.jpg

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 30):
However, at the present time, when sending a single transporter to Afganistan is a logistic stretch, we can rule that out for the time being.

For the future, it might be worth it to consider what Romania has just signed on for.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...even-alenia-aeronautica-c-27j.html

.....and which Bulgaria and Lithuania already got.....

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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:29 am



Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 31):
Coalition tankers would likely fill that void during joint operations. NATO inter-operability and interest suggest that LockMart might aggresively price if they'd be up against new-build Gripens. The weak dollar and the by now just gravy that could be made out of this potential deal may prompt them to put together a similar killer package that snatched the RMAF contract from the Rafale recently. Then add the "diplomatic" angle to those.

News reports in the press indicate that the two most vigorous competitors are SAAB and MiG. An article from a while ago mentioned that LM is actually loosing interest in the competition, but that was before the dollar started going sharply down.

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 31):
For the future, it might be worth it to consider what Romania has just signed on for.....

The problem is not with the aircraft themselves - the old An-32s are still racking up a very high number of hours - but the logistic system supporting them. Acquiring the funds, supporting personnel and crews, ensuring a flow of spare parts and the like present a big problem - as does a general lack of plans, organization and infrastructure for distant theater operations. In its 16 years of existence, the CroAF has never flown an operational mission from anything but its own permanent bases on its own territory.

Should we get a transport aircraft compatible with NATO systems - like the C-27 - without improving the above, I presume we could always ask present operators to maintain them in a distant theater, like Afghanistan. However, there is again a possibility that these operators, which may not have their own logistic systems beefed up to full NATO specs, have their hands full with their own aircraft. That, coupled with CroAF's inexperience in these operations, could overall do more harm than good. I understand that present or becoming operators of C-27s - Lithuania, Bulgaria and Romania - do not have all that much experience either, but their airforces are diverse and have been around for awhile, which gave them time to sort themselves out. The CroAF started 16 years ago with Cessna Skyhawks and UTVA-75s with shoulder-launched anti-tank rockets bolted to their wings, hunting targets barely half an hour's flight away.

I'm not saying that it's impossible - or will be impossible - for the CroAF to participate in distant theater operations as part of a NATO force; however, at the time being, the lack of organization and logistic support for these missions would render suitable aircraft a bit useless for our present day-to-day operations. At the risk of sounding like an armchair general, I'd rather we buy say A/B Gripens (if the C/D upgrade can be performed at a later date) and use the extra money in gearing the AF for international operations, than buying C/D Gripens and flying them without utilising any of their C/D features.
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F27Friendship
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:18 pm

Thanks for the great pics of those choppers! I am surprised by the rocket pods though!

I thought they would be used solely for transport and SAR? Can you tell us more about the future operations and missions of these machines?

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 32):
In its 16 years of existence, the CroAF has never flown an operational mission from anything but its own permanent bases on its own territory.



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 32):
The CroAF started 16 years ago with Cessna Skyhawks and UTVA-75s with shoulder-launched anti-tank rockets bolted to their wings, hunting targets barely half an hour's flight away.

this is all true of course. Nevertheless, many (probably the backbone) personell in the current Croation Air Force served in the former Yugoslav Air Force. It's not that they re-invented the wheel completely. They have had people who knew what they were doing from the start.
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:52 pm

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 33):
I thought they would be used solely for transport and SAR? Can you tell us more about the future operations and missions of these machines?

Transport and SAR will be the primary roles, but I guess the AF also wants to fill the void left by the Mi-24 fleet when it was retired several years back. Nothing about this has been widely mentioned in the media though. The AF was probably thinking along similar lines as the Czech AF, when it ordered its Mi-171s (which are based on very similar specifications and equipment packages).

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 33):
this is all true of course. Nevertheless, many (probably the backbone) personell in the current Croation Air Force served in the former Yugoslav Air Force. It's not that they re-invented the wheel completely. They have had people who knew what they were doing from the start.

True, there are people who have experiences from the former YuAF, but there are not all that many of them left. While they will be an invaluable asset in "reforming" the airforce, in its present state it is still mostly geared toward CAS and short-range ground attack missions, which were basically it's entire portfolio for the past 16 years. It'll take time to change the whole operative system in the measure required for long-range operations. How long, I can only hazzard a guess, and I believe it'll take some years.

[Edited 2007-12-27 08:55:23]
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F27Friendship
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Thu Dec 27, 2007 10:07 pm



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 34):
Transport and SAR will be the primary roles, but I guess the AF also wants to fill the void left by the Mi-24 fleet when it was retired several years back. Nothing about this has been widely mentioned in the media though. The AF was probably thinking along similar lines as the Czech AF, when it ordered its Mi-171s (which are based on very similar specifications and equipment packages).

indeed never a bad idea to keep options open.

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 34):
True, there are people who have experiences from the former YuAF, but there are not all that many of them left. While they will be an invaluable asset in "reforming" the airforce, in its present state it is still mostly geared toward CAS and short-range ground attack missions, which were basically it's entire portfolio for the past 16 years. It'll take time to change the whole operative system in the measure required for long-range operations. How long, I can only hazzard a guess, and I believe it'll take some years.

I think the CroAF is well under way in becoming a modern, small, but agile and capable force.
 
mig21umd
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:24 am

First ill like to say Merry Christmas and happy new year to all.

Since the F1 was mentioned as a possible mig21 replacement, I started to think about the RNZAF A4 sky hawks which are still in New Zealand and are each flown once every 6 months to ensure they remain in flying condition pending sale.

Back when the RNZAF decided to not operate fighters anymore, and pulled these aircraft from service, I remember thinking it would be great if Croatia purchased these aircraft.

17 aircraft in total, it would give Croatia a versatile little fighter/bomber capability.


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F27Friendship
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:40 am



Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 36):
Back when the RNZAF decided to not operate fighters anymore, and pulled these aircraft from service, I remember thinking it would be great if Croatia purchased these aircraft.

17 aircraft in total, it would give Croatia a versatile little fighter/bomber capability.

the'd be much better off keeping the MiG-21's . As I recall the A4 is a subsonic attack airplane. They need a supersonic fighter, that is at least able to intercept airliners. You can't do that with an A4
 
mig21umd
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:57 pm

I never thought of the A4 as a subsonic aircraft. Looks like it could be supersonic. Anyway, you are correct it is a subsonic aircraft.

Still a nice machine though.
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N74JW
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:55 pm

It would be nice if Croatia could acquire some Jas-39 Gripens, perhaps from existing Swedish stocks. If not that, maybe some Mirage 2000s from France.
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:50 am

Another bit of unofficial news: the Croatian DoD has decided to include Eurofighter in the fighter competition as the 5th contender. However, with a total price (aircraft, spares, the whole package) between 85-100 million dollars per aircraft, as compared to the 60-70 for its competitors, many speculate that the EF - like the MiG-35 and Mirage F1 - was included simply to pressure the two favorites - LM and SAAB - to offer the best packages.

Link in Croatian
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F27Friendship
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:12 pm



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 40):
Another bit of unofficial news: the Croatian DoD has decided to include Eurofighter in the fighter competition as the 5th contender. However, with a total price (aircraft, spares, the whole package) between 85-100 million dollars per aircraft, as compared to the 60-70 for its competitors, many speculate that the EF - like the MiG-35 and Mirage F1 - was included simply to pressure the two favorites - LM and SAAB - to offer the best packages.

that's a good one!
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:19 pm



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 40):
However, with a total price (aircraft, spares, the whole package) between 85-100 million dollars per aircraft,

You won't get it for that money. System price is more like 150Mil$ or about 105Mil€.
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:22 pm

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 42):
You won't get it for that money. System price is more like 150Mil$ or about 105Mil€.

Pardon, it was 80-100 million Euros, must have put dollars out of habit... my mistake

[Edited 2008-01-16 11:25:40]
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F27Friendship
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:48 pm



Quoting PADSpot (Reply 42):
You won't get it for that money. System price is more like 150Mil$ or about 105Mil€.



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 43):
Pardon, it was 80-100 million Euros, must have put dollars out of habit... my mistake

I'm quite certain though, szu Germans will be making a sweet offer with little used Tranche 1 airframes, currently with the Luftwaffe, and take more Tranche 2 themselves.

Also, Croatia has important ties to Germany and Italy, and there would be commonality with almost neighbour Austria.
 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:05 am

Not to needlessly open another thread, I'll just post some fighter competition news here instead. The morning newspaper (link in Croatian) states that Rosoboronoexport, the Russian state arms dealer, is putting increased pressure on Croatia, and lobbying harder, for the MiG-29M and MiG-29M2.

A revised package would see limited MiG parts production in Croatia, as well as some technology transfer between the two countries. A regional helicopter service center is on the cards too, as well as indirect offset investments in tourism, shipbuilding, power generation, plus an edge for any Croatian companies doing business in Russia.

Experienced CroAF pilots say that they would always choose the -29M over the Mirage F1, JAS-39 and F-16 - though it is not stated whether that's from a piloting, or overall, perspective. The requests for details - mentioned in previous posts on this thread - are due in by March 28th (according to the article). It is expected that Israel will submit an offer as well.

EDIT: just to add a bit of random information, the second pair of Mi-171s has been delivered (end of last month or beginning of this one, not sure), wearing serials 222 and 223 (without the H prefix seen on all other helicopters).

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f229/TripleDelta/Mi-171Sh/H-222_03.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f229/TripleDelta/Mi-171Sh/H-223_03.jpg

[Edited 2008-02-19 00:08:23]
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mig21umd
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:32 pm

Seems like the Russian are desperate to get back into the arms market.

Will the Russian's change there mind if Croatia recognises Kosovo?

I have never been a fan of the Mig 29. It does not seem to have a very good record in recent (last 20 years) military conflicts.
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:21 pm



Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 46):
Seems like the Russian are desperate to get back into the arms market.

Will the Russian's change there mind if Croatia recognises Kosovo?

I have never been a fan of the Mig 29. It does not seem to have a very good record in recent (last 20 years) military conflicts.

The M and M2 versions are altogether far more capable than the stock MiG-29A. Better avionics, higher performance and - most importantly - bigger fuel capacity...

The more pressing question is this Algeria/Syria MiG-29 thing going on. And myself I don't like the concessions this deal implies Croatia make in the economic sector. The Russian government is not that altruistic to invest in our most profitable sectors and not expect something hefty in return.
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:08 pm

Whats up with the mi-171,s? are they new ones? looks like they been stored in Russia for 20 years ore so....Everything feels so "second hand"....And Mig-29,s.....also feels old. If you need something that big,go for the EF!!  bigthumbsup 
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RE: Croatian AF Getting Back On Strength

Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:18 pm



Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 48):
Whats up with the mi-171,s? are they new ones? looks like they been stored in Russia for 20 years ore so....Everything feels so "second hand"....And Mig-29,s.....also feels old. If you need something that big,go for the EF!!

The Mi-171s are brand new. Four of 10 were delivered so far, while the remaining six are in various stages of being bolted together at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant in Russia. Actually, there are quite a few factory-new aircraft entering the airforce, including five Zlin Z-142 basic trainers, the three AT-802s and two CL-415s mentioned in the opening post...

The EF - while certainly big enough - doesn't come with the MiG-29's price tag and that's its biggest (pun intended) fault.
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