User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:55 am

Just caught an interesting article in the morning paper, and thought I'd share it here... despite the much publicized fighter tender drama of the past few years (which was eventually cancelled due to a lack of funds), the Croatian AF has apparently prepared options to keep the country's fleet of MiG-21s flying past 2013, when it is estimated that the remaining airworthy examples are going to run out of service life. The said article states that representatives of MiG and Rosoboronexport - the Russian arms export agency - are coming to Croatia to asses the state of the MiG-21 fleet and give their say on how many, if any, could be modernized to keep them flying for a while longer. If very few or none qualify, the AF is even thinking of buying additional used - but newer - MiG-21s to fill the gap until a new type is selected and brought into service.

In case of the first option, the original plan - as stated by the article - would involve the upgrade of eight aircraft currently in long-term storage, none of which had been through the previous modernization program at Romania's Aerostar in 2003. The total cost of this option is estimated to be around EUR 15.000.000 - though again this depends on how many of the 30+ year old airframes MiG technicians declare as fit for upgrade.

The second option, which really caught my eye, would see the acquisition of "several" newer-build MiG-21s from India. The article labels them as MiG-21UPGs, but a quick internet search revealed that these are in fact upgraded Bisons retired from service a few years ago. The aircraft are said to have been produced in the late 80s, and to still have about 10 years worth of service life remaining. The cost of one aircraft is estimated as EUR 3.000.000 - which seems to be quite a bargain for a jet interceptor...

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Chetan.S.J


On a side note, the wording of the article gave me the impression that if the stored examples are deemed fit for upgrade - and/or the deal with India could be negotiated - the MoD would prefer this option for the time being (until the economy recovers) rather than select a new type.
No plane, no gain.
 
oldeuropean
Posts: 1686
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 5:19 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:59 am

A wise decision. What do they need fighters for anyway, nowadays?

[Edited 2011-02-03 01:01:17]
Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:14 am

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 1):
A wise decision. What do they need fighters for anyway, nowadays?

In a nutshell, air policing. And while the MiGs are adequate for the role and the occasional interception, they are getting very old, very difficult to maintain and, in more than one case, increasingly hazardous to fly. You can only eek so much out of a 30+ year old airframe... plus, the list of NATO requirements they conform to is rather... short .
No plane, no gain.
 
nomadd22
Posts: 1566
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:42 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:40 pm

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 1):
A wise decision. What do they need fighters for anyway, nowadays?

They need them because being a part of NATO comes with the responsibility for sharing in it's defense. If they want to be a partner and not a welfare state, they need to pull their weight.
Anon
 
User avatar
ptrjong
Posts: 4088
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:38 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:21 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Thread starter):

Are all the MiGs currently grounded? I'll be in Zagreb in the summer and maybe in Pula.

Peter 
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:25 pm

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 4):
Are all the MiGs currently grounded? I'll be in Zagreb in the summer and maybe in Pula.

No, the fleet is still up and flying  . Reports in the newspapers say there are 4-6 aircraft airworthy at any given time (though the number has been known to vary), with six stored examples that can be returned to flying status on relatively short notice should the need arise. The former - and I believe the latter as well - were upgraded by Aerostar to the bis D/UMD standard, while the remainder of the fleet is in deep storage and still in their original bis/UM configuration.

Though there has been no official word out so far, two of six the stored aircraft have probably been reactivated to replace the two single-seaters lost in a mid-air collision in September 2010 during a training exercise.

[Edited 2011-02-03 06:27:17]
No plane, no gain.
 
User avatar
ptrjong
Posts: 4088
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:38 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:14 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 5):
No, the fleet is still up and flying

Thank you. Uhm, both at Zagreb - Pleso and Split?

Peter 
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:41 pm

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 6):
Thank you. Uhm, both at Zagreb - Pleso and Split?

The fleet is generally based at Zagreb, but on occasion they also operate from Pula and Zadar (mostly for training and during various exercises). However, there are always at least two examples at ZAG (the QRA pair I believe), so that's the safest bet - even though catching them in flight is a wild game of chance. Also, under normal circumstances they never operate from SPU, since their operational specifics would cause massive disruptions to civilian traffic... and at any rate, the comparatively small apron at SPU means the AF wouldn't have anywhere to put them  .
No plane, no gain.
 
User avatar
ptrjong
Posts: 4088
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:38 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:47 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 7):

I'll spend a few hours at ZAG anyway. Nice to know there's a chance to photograph a MiG, albeit a remote chance. Thanks again.

Peter 
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
sasd209
Posts: 381
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:32 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:14 pm

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 8):

I'll spend a few hours at ZAG anyway. Nice to know there's a chance to photograph a MiG, albeit a remote chance.

I just checked GoogleMaps and visible on the overheads are 4 MiG-21's on the pad and what looks like 4 in camoflauged revetments (2 in single spots each and 2 together in 1 spot). I'm not sure when the photo was taken, but I'd assume they don't move their whole AirBase around much.  
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:34 pm

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 9):
I just checked GoogleMaps and visible on the overheads are 4 MiG-21's on the pad and what looks like 4 in camoflauged revetments (2 in single spots each and 2 together in 1 spot). I'm not sure when the photo was taken, but I'd assume they don't move their whole AirBase around much.

Unless they're taxiing or in various stages of takeoff or approach, the MiGs cannot be seen from ground level from any part of the airport (unless they're standing out in the open on one of the northern pads).
No plane, no gain.
 
redflyer
Posts: 3881
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:08 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 2):
You can only eek so much out of a 30+ year old airframe

The design itself is way older than that. The first prototype flew back in the mid-50's, which means the design is on the order of close to 60 years old.

Regardless, nice to see instances of this old warhorse still being put to good use. One of my favorite planes when I was a kid growing up. And I'll never forget as a kid watching the scene at the end of the movie, Ice Station Zebra, when it showed them flying in close formation (probably a composite of the same plane), except the final shot of them flying overhead, which was of F4 Phantoms - guess the producers couldn't get their hands on close-up footage of MiGs flying directly overhead when the movie was made back in 1968.
My other home is a Piper Cherokee 180C
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:56 am

Quoting redflyer (Reply 11):
The design itself is way older than that. The first prototype flew back in the mid-50's, which means the design is on the order of close to 60 years old.

Indeed; however, I was referring to the age of the CroAF examples, since I believe they were all manufactured around the late 70s  . Having been through a lot - some having even seen combat during the early 90s - and clocking up a significant amount of flight hours, the airframes themselves are tired and worn out, which limits the scope of their modernization.

Quoting redflyer (Reply 11):
Regardless, nice to see instances of this old warhorse still being put to good use.

The only problem is that their age - and the ever-increasing problem of finding good, quality spare parts - prevents them from being utilized to the full (as far as Croatian AF examples are concerned at any rate)... the Bison though appears to be a wholly more competent aircraft that the basic bis.
No plane, no gain.
 
Devilfish
Posts: 5180
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:52 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:04 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Thread starter):
the much publicized fighter tender drama of the past few years (which was eventually cancelled due to a lack of funds)

A pity that the financial situation did not improve. There are some rather fine used examples that might be available (maybe not in the bracket the CroAF is looking at).....

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Aldo Bidini
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gary Claridge-king


.....they are asking a lot even for the embargoed Iraqi F1s.

Bulgaria is said to be seeking new fighters. They might let go of their other MiG-29s if and when they get their new-buys.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...shed-mig-29-fighter-re-enters.html


Also, there seems to be some frames left out of these upgrading efforts.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...elay-hits-serbian-mig-29-deal.html

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-mig-upgrade-debuts-at-berlin.html

.....could be viable options when the time is ripe. I just don't know how politics with these countries would play into a deal. Used A/B Gripens still seem the best bet.

Alternatively, Croatia can revisit Belgian and Dutch F-16A/Bs, or even American ones.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:32 am

I'd say the option of buying a handful of Bisons has the air of a good idea about it. From our "man on the ground" perspective, the country's economy isn't really showing signs of improving within the next year or two, meaning that any fighter purchase could still be some way off. If, for the sake of the argument, we assume that a new tender will be started in 2013 - when the current MiG-21 fleet will run out of service life - it'll still be at least two years before it is completed, before the aircraft are delivered and the air and ground crews trained (not to mention all the servicing equipment replaced) - so two years during which the country will be left without an aircraft capable of even basic air policing.

In this situation, Croatia would be forced to "outsource" these missions to another NATO member state, which - given Slovenian experiences - is quite the pricey option. Given that it would significantly sap the MoD budget, an arrangement like this could also give rise to a mentality of buying anything - going for the cheapest option - just to return everything "in-house" as soon as possible and stop the flow of funds over the border; which can - and surely will - have negative long-term consequences for the CroAF.

But, if the MoD does indeed go for the Bisons, they'll have a significantly more capable aircraft than the current bis D - but an aircraft that is still essentially a MiG-21bis, with which both the pilots and ground crews are familiar, and for which a developed system of servicing and maintenance already exists. The Bison's low unit price wouldn't make a large dent in the budget, and for it you'd get an aircraft that can comfortably operate for another 10 years. This would remove much pressure from the MoD budget, allowing more substantial funds to accumulate over several years, and allow the purchase of the best aircraft for the job - which would also imply the purchase of a brand new aircraft. All the while, the country's fast jet pilots would get to "keep their hand in", while the more advanced and complex systems of the Bison would allow them to get used - at least partially - to the new digital systems they can expect in the new aircraft  .
No plane, no gain.
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:00 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Thread starter):
The second option, which really caught my eye, would see the acquisition of "several" newer-build MiG-21s from India. The article labels them as MiG-21UPGs, but a quick internet search revealed that these are in fact upgraded Bisons retired from service a few years ago.

This sounds very fishy. Why would India retire and sell aircraft which were upgraded only a short time ago?
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:25 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 15):
This sounds very fishy. Why would India retire and sell aircraft which were upgraded only a short time ago?

The answer most probably lies in the Indian MRCA competition, which had turned into a soap opera much like the Croatian fighter competition  . India's MiG-21s were modified and upgraded well before a clear winner - and indeed, a clear end - of the MRCA competition was in sight. Now that the Indian AF is re-equipping with the Su-30MKI and Tejas - the latter specifically tailored to replace the MiG-21 - the Bisons may have been deemed redundant; and with a number of countries still operating MiG-21s of all variants, the brass at the Indian AF may have seen a market for their aircraft. Selling them outright while they're still relatively "fresh" might very well cover the costs of their upgrade and leave the Indian AF with no net loss in the long run  .
No plane, no gain.
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:30 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 16):
The answer most probably lies in the Indian MRCA competition, which had turned into a soap opera much like the Croatian fighter competition . India's MiG-21s were modified and upgraded well before a clear winner - and indeed, a clear end - of the MRCA competition was in sight. Now that the Indian AF is re-equipping with the Su-30MKI and Tejas - the latter specifically tailored to replace the MiG-21 - the Bisons may have been deemed redundant; and with a number of countries still operating MiG-21s of all variants, the brass at the Indian AF may have seen a market for their aircraft. Selling them outright while they're still relatively "fresh" might very well cover the costs of their upgrade and leave the Indian AF with no net loss in the long run .

I'm not saying that the information provided by the newspaper is wrong, it's just that I haven't heard anything about India retiring the upgraded Bisons...

Regards,
A342
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
mig21umd
Posts: 267
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:30 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:12 am

Sounds like a very impressive aircraft and would be a great coup for Croatia at just 3 million a piece.

@ A342, I think the 'Bison' a set to retire in 2018 and maybe some sooner as squadrons are replaced by newer aircraft.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
F27Friendship
Posts: 1098
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:45 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:08 pm

The bison is a very potent little fighter. I believe the Indian Air Force has developed a jammer into it, which makes it a threat even to 4th generation fighters.

A no-nonsense approach to get a familiar (but more capable) aircraft into the Croatian Air Force for a minimum cost really sounds like a great idea. Nevertheless, buying a new type, to generate industrial offset (also in other domains) such as the SAAB deal could have a significant positive effect on the economy..

however, just buying what you need for minimum cost certainly seems more sensible right now.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:47 pm

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 19):
Nevertheless, buying a new type, to generate industrial offset (also in other domains) such as the SAAB deal could have a significant positive effect on the economy..

Indeed; however, in the current economic climate in Croatia, the short term effects could very well do more damage than the long term benefits could do good. Buying a sizable fleet of Gripens (or any other new aircraft for that matter) would really stress the country's budget unduly, a budget that is already pretty knackered and near collapse; and the long term comebacks from the offset would take quite some time to make themselves felt, possibly too late to reverse the problems the acquisition would do in the near term.

In any other situation this would not be much of a problem, and would if anything be a good bet; but the country is really teetering near the edge, with the word "bankruptcy" being tossed around with increasing regularity on the state level... and in view of a viable alternative in the form of the Bison, there is really no need to rush any major purchase (especially since you can get 7-8 Bisons for the price of one Gripen).
No plane, no gain.
 
F27Friendship
Posts: 1098
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:45 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:30 pm

I guess I can't agree more that the Bison will do what the CroAF needs and more!

Perhaps some interesting follow up contacts with India will come out of it. Indeed, that's where the future bussiness will take place anyway, so why not look to the farther East.

BTW, concerning the armored vehicles to be constructed in Slav. Brod; is that still on?
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:47 pm

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 21):
I guess I can't agree more that the Bison will do what the CroAF needs and more!

It's almost the perfect interim solution - a very capable aircraft with at least a decade's worth of life in it, but in essence still a MiG-21bis with which the entire AF system is already well versed  . Plus, it'll fly air policing and intercept missions just as well as a Gripen, EF-2000 or MiG-35.

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 21):
BTW, concerning the armored vehicles to be constructed in Slav. Brod; is that still on?

Hmmm, I must admit I do not know... I personally haven't heard (or read) anything about this for quite awhile now.
No plane, no gain.
 
Devilfish
Posts: 5180
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:52 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:38 pm

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 18):
Sounds like a very impressive aircraft and would be a great coup for Croatia at just 3 million a piece.

It's amazing that these old fighters keep going on while newer MiG-29s are being sidelined for all sorts of ailments. They don't build fighters like they used to anymore?

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 20):
and in view of a viable alternative in the form of the Bison, there is really no need to rush any major purchase (especially since you can get 7-8 Bisons for the price of one Gripen).

I guess that's a pretty unassailable argument.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
mig21umd
Posts: 267
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:30 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:11 am

What is most important for the CroAF is to maintain its fast jet capability and maybe even take over the air policing roll of Slovenia too. This would allow CroAF to be partially paid to keep there pilots trained and the jets in the air. Short term assistance for the financial problems the government is facing.

Maybe even offer to train a few Slovenian pilots and even give them air and mission time on the aircraft as an incentive to Slovenia to go along with the idea.

The more I think about it the more sense it makes to acquire the Bison. That is if they are available.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
PIEAvantiP180
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:04 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:03 am

The first doesn or so times i went thru ZAG i saw the Mig-21s in their usual parked position. The only way they r usually visible is when ur aircraft is taxing by and not visible from the terminal. But last year i went thru ZAG in Jul and Aug and i was not able to see them. As for the AC racking up alot of flying time during the early 90s conflict is questionable at best i think. To my knowlege Cro nor Serb airforce used their air force in any major way during the fighting.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:22 am

Quoting PIEAvantiP180 (Reply 25):
To my knowlege Cro nor Serb airforce used their air force in any major way during the fighting.

Both air forces were quite active during the early 90s. It is true that the CroAF had initially jealously guarded its first few MiGs, but as their numbers increased, they pretty much bore the brunt of ground attack missions, along with the Mi-24s. Indeed, the country's (subsequently) most famous pilot, Rudolf Perešin, was shot down killed while ejecting when his -21 was hit by ground fire during a mixed SEAD/ground attack flight, a mission that was relatively common at the time. Other MiG-21 pilots had some close calls as well. The Mi-24s too had seen their fair share of action, while the Mi-8 fleet had also pulled off some impressive missions (and this is not counting the early days, including the famous An-2 "boiler bombers" and Air Tractors and Cessna 188s converted into light attackers).

The Yugoslav Air Force was also heavily involved in the conflict, mostly ground attack with G-2s, J-1s, J-22s and MiG-21s. If anything, they were a common sight in the early years of the conflict - I still remember the sight of two jets (J-22s I think) flying low above Zagreb, maneuvering to strafe a TV tower on the nearby mountain of Medvednica. Another occasion also saw them bombing the presidential residence in town. And there's also the famous footage of two J-1s shot down by AAA near Šibenik. Indeed, when I was in Belgrade back in 2006 or so, I'd visited the Aeronautical Museum at BEG with some friends, and the custodian had shown us dozens of J-1s, G-2s and MiG-21s sitting in the museum's back yard, most of which were veterans of the war.

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 24):
What is most important for the CroAF is to maintain its fast jet capability and maybe even take over the air policing roll of Slovenia too. This would allow CroAF to be partially paid to keep there pilots trained and the jets in the air. Short term assistance for the financial problems the government is facing.

This would be quite a good deal, essentially a step towards something like a joint airforce!   The only potential problem is this agreement with Italy; I personally don't know whether it was defined for a fixed period of years, or is it renewed every year...

[Edited 2011-02-09 01:24:53]
No plane, no gain.
 
mig21umd
Posts: 267
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:30 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:22 am

Quoting PIEAvantiP180 (Reply 25):
As for the AC racking up alot of flying time during the early 90s conflict is questionable at best i think. To my knowlege Cro nor Serb airforce used their air force in any major way during the fighting.

True regarding the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina (unless you were Nato enforcing the no fly zone) but not true during the conflict in Croatia.

I still remember Mig 21s flying almost daily over Split out of Kastala in the summer of 1994. I was visiting Croatia for the first time they would fly almost every other day and usually twice a day. A 7am sortie when at least 3 would take off disappear somewhere and come back after about half an hour followed by another sortie at around 10am. I still have some video of this on old 8mm film from our old VCR camera.

The Yugoslav airforce was very active in Croatia in 91-92 conflict and lost some 20 aircraft during that time. Croatia as mentioned by TrippleDelta set up there own cactus airforce near Osijek using GA aircraft and AN-2s that was taken over by the Croatian military and used to both supply Croatian forces around Vukovar and also to attack Serbian positions at night using bombs made from water boilers and gas bottles which were literally frown out the door or window when over the target.
At first these aircraft enjoyed an easy run over there targets as the Serbs did not expect to counter air attacks from the Croatian side so did not deploy any air defence assets to the region. When they did they had another problem because there SA-2 anti aircrfat missile were designed to shoot down fast jets and thus could not track targets (AN-2) travelling at some 120kts. Once the Serbs solved these problems and shot down some attacking Croatian aircraft, these missions over Vukover were deemed too dangerous and stopped by the Croatian side.

In 95 the Croatian airforce played a major roll in operation lighting (May) and Storm (August) where some Mig 21 pilots were flying as much as 6 missions per day during the first few days of the conflict. They were said to be that effective that many in Serbia still believe that Nato supplied air cover to the Croatian forces but this was not the case.

I still remember hearing one story reported which to me is very interesting but find it difficult to find too much info on. 4 CroAF Mig 21s were intercepted by Nato F16s when they infiltrated Bosnian airspace sometime around late August or early September 95. Once intercepted they turned back and left Bosnian airspace as order by Nato. I always assumed these aircraft were on a mission to bomb Banja Luka airport to disable the Rebublica Srbska aircrfat which were being used against Croatian forces which along with Bosnian forces were pushing towards the town Banja Luka. If anyone knows anything about this it would be awesome. (trippleDelta?)
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:43 am

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 27):
I still remember hearing one story reported which to me is very interesting but find it difficult to find too much info on. 4 CroAF Mig 21s were intercepted by Nato F16s when they infiltrated Bosnian airspace sometime around late August or early September 95. Once intercepted they turned back and left Bosnian airspace as order by Nato. I always assumed these aircraft were on a mission to bomb Banja Luka airport to disable the Rebublica Srbska aircrfat which were being used against Croatian forces which along with Bosnian forces were pushing towards the town Banja Luka. If anyone knows anything about this it would be awesome. (trippleDelta?)

I must admit I haven't heard of this (or if I had I don't remember)... but given the various levels of controversy regarding the whole of 1995 on both sides - and the often (politically) sensitive nature of the missions involved - accurate, unbiased information about this would be nigh impossible to find... especially on the Internet  . In the state archives maybe, but on the web, any discussion about this often turns into a "pissing contest" of no value whatsoever (just look at clips on Youtube!).

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 27):
the Serbs did not expect

If I may correct you, at Vukovar the Croatian forces were not fighting "Serbs", but the Yugoslav National Army. Being the army of the 20+ million former Yugoslavia, the JNA was composed of virtually all nationalities from ex-Yu, including Bosniaks, Macedonians, Albanians (from Kosovo), Montenegrins and so on - and this was true for all ranks, from the lowly cannon fodder soldier all the way to the upper brass. And while in 1991 the JNA was just a shadow of its former self, being controlled directly from Belgrade, its men and women on the ground (including commanders) came from all over the former country. Indeed, during the siege, many had deserted, feeling they were dragged into a war that was none of their business.

Likewise, the Croatian forces too had included various nationalities, such as Slovenes - and a fair amount of Serbs as well, many of whom rose to distinction during the defense of Vukovar. Indeed, there were cases of JNA soldiers defecting under fire to join in the city's defense, disillusioned by fighting against people who were their neighbors a few months ago.

[Edited 2011-02-10 00:45:03]
No plane, no gain.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:26 am

Speak of the devil, the morning paper is back with an update on the MiG situation  . According to the published article, MiG engineers - invited to assess the state of the country's MiG-21 fleet - have declared ten aircraft as fit for a potential overhaul to keep them flying. These include solely the examples already upgraded by Aerostar during the early 2000s, while the remaining eight original bis/UMs are ready for the scrap heap.

The article also states that there is an option in place to overhaul eight of the 10 suitable aircraft, which would extend their service life by another 10 years (which would - at least from this perspective - bring them on par with the Bisons). By current estimates, this overhaul would cost about EUR 15.000.000, or appox. EUR 1.8-1.900.000 apiece.

Also listed are the manufacture years for the MiGs (though it doesn't say whether these are for the upgraded examples or the entire fleet), claimed to be from an official document in the possession of the newspaper: the single-seaters are from 1972, 1974, 1977 and 1981, while the twoseaters are from 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979 and 1981  .
No plane, no gain.
 
mig21umd
Posts: 267
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:30 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:03 am

Maybe they were not fighting the 'Serbs' but at this time the Yugoslav army was fighting for the interest of Serbia and Milosevic only. (sorry but It would not allow me to select the referenced quote)

So, it looks like there will be no Bisons flying in Croatian colours which is a shame, would have brought a much improved capability to the CroAF.

I think that the other nail in the coffin for the Bison idea would be that Croatia could use the Russian debt to Croatia to pay for the upgrade so in effect it will be a free upgrade for Croatia much like the purchase of the Mi171sh. I think there is still some debt left over.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:10 am

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 30):
Maybe they were not fighting the 'Serbs' but at this time the Yugoslav army was fighting for the interest of Serbia and Milosevic only. (sorry but It would not allow me to select the referenced quote)

Indeed, as I had mentioned myself, the JNA was controlled directly from Belgrade. But to say that fighting a multinational army was fighting the "Serbs" just because a couple of their knuckleheads had started the siege would be like me saying "I hate the British" (which I don't, just as a disclaimer) and then grouping Americans and Australians into the same group - since hey, they were all "started" by the British (simplifying history a bit for the sake of the argument).

Quoting mig21umd (Reply 30):
I think there is still some debt left over.

According to news reports from 2004, the debt to Croatia was USD 185.7 million. USD 65 million had already been spent on the Mi-171s; but what happened - or will happen - with the rest is unclear (I can't find anything new on the net, with the most recent article from January 2010 stating that an agreement to cover the debt has been finalized). However, various reports from the time indicate that most of the debt would go to various infrastructure projects, with the steel works at Sisak and a natural gas pipeline from Hungary frequently mentioned.

If the debt hadn't been used up by now, it is entirely possible that shoring up the country's own debt - and completing some of the few ongoing infrastructure projects - could have priority over the MiG upgrade... another potential problem, given the MoD's tendency to act two minutes before midnight, is that they'll wait till the last second to make the decision on the upgrade, by which time the rest of the debt could be used up.
No plane, no gain.
 
User avatar
pylon101
Posts: 430
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:36 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:23 pm

I remember my first trip to Croatia in 1999 - there were so many wounds of the war.
I was driving back to Zagreb using highway going behind the mountains.
And I saw so many broken houses and abandoned land.
And then - the Plitvice miracle....
The tragedy of the civil war in Yugoslavia is of the scale which is hard to comprehend.

Well. Anyway. This is smart for CroAF to put off expensive new purchases and keep MIG-21 until GFC is over.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:54 pm

Quoting pylon101 (Reply 32):
Well. Anyway. This is smart for CroAF to put off expensive new purchases and keep MIG-21 until GFC is over.

Very true. Now the question remains will the MoD go for the overhaul or the Bison... if they go for the former, I wonder if it'll include just a strip-down and thorough service, or will it also imply a few system upgrades along the way. And despite being among the most unlikely scenarios to happen, if not the most unlikely - especially given that EUR 1.7 million apiece can't really buy you much - I keep hoping that the single-seaters might come back as MiG-21-93s or a variant thereof .
No plane, no gain.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:09 am

Ah, the saga continues  . A fresh article in this morning's paper has shed some more light on the state of the CroAF's MiG fleet. The most interesting part concerns the eight non-bis D/UMD examples that MiG technicians said cannot be upgraded: apparently - and contrary to information released to the public by the MoD - there aircraft were not so much stored as dumped in the open behind some bushes at ZAG and left to the elements. MiG techs said that on the face of it, had they been properly preserved, they could've easily been overhauled and remained in service for several years - but now they're beyond any hope. The decision to dump rather than properly store these aircraft is attracting an increasing amount of criticism and fire since this info was made public, especially given that these eight jets were the youngest MiGs in the fleet, all having been produced in 1980 and 1981.

The other interesting bit of info is that someone (either the CroAF of the MoD, it isn't clearly stated) has deemed only post-1975 jets as economical for overhaul, which totals out to just four or five aircraft. The MoD's plan was to overhaul at least eight aircraft (as mentioned briefly in a previous post), of which six would be single-seaters and two two-seaters; the article goes on to say that to fill those numbers, the MoD/AF will buy additional aircraft and have them overhauled along with its existing example. The price of one aircraft is stated to be EUR 60.000, climbing to about EUR 1.2 million after overhaul (still significantly cheaper than the Bison).
No plane, no gain.
 
ORDfan
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:02 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:11 pm

Realistically, how many tactical aircraft does Croatia need to fulfill its NATO obligations. Also, politically-speaking, wouldn't Eurofighters make the most sense, particularly as Croatia pushes to join the EU. I know the EU was heavily lobbying Poland to purchase them when it was negotiating its EU entry.
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:12 pm

Quoting ORDFan (Reply 35):
Also, politically-speaking, wouldn't Eurofighters make the most sense, particularly as Croatia pushes to join the EU. I know the EU was heavily lobbying Poland to purchase them when it was negotiating its EU entry.

I think most politicians will understand that only few countries can afford a relatively expensive option like the Eurofighter...
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:28 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 36):
I think most politicians will understand that only few countries can afford a relatively expensive option like the Eurofighter...

Actually, the EF consortium has been actively pitching the Typhoon for quite awhile now, and has been very active in the local media as well. And while the EF-2000 is indeed a jolly expensive aircraft - the most expensive of the types considered for the abortive fighter tender (F-16, JAS-39, MiG-35 and the Typhoon) - EF is offering a very enticing offset investment package that (on paper at least) should go some way to redressing the balance. Plus, traditionally strong trade links with Germany and Italy - something the EF team is also banking on - probably give the Typhoon some more "credit" as well...
No plane, no gain.
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:57 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 37):

Well, I could see some surplus German or Italian examples being sold to Croatia, but new ones?
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:51 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 38):
Well, I could see some surplus German or Italian examples being sold to Croatia, but new ones?

That's the thing - everything said in the media so far had assumed the Typhoons would be new-builds by default; and while this is the most likely scenario at this point, nobody has yet explicitly ruled out second-hand aircraft.
No plane, no gain.
 
PIEAvantiP180
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:04 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:12 am

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 26):
Quoting mig21umd (Reply 27):

Wow did not know the aircraft were used to that extent during the conflict. You are right that by living in Bosnia a person would not have seen much. I was 6 when the war started and i only remember about half dozen air raid alarms going off in about a 2 week span at the beggining and nothing till towards the end when im sure most of them were do to NATO planes enforcing the no fly zone. I do remember seeing all the cessna 172 being painted in camo colors that were based on a small grass strip near my aunts house. Even back then i knew they had no military value as weapons and were newer used as such. After the war they were repainted back to civil colors and are still used there tooday for flight training and sight seeing.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:35 am

Quoting PIEAvantiP180 (Reply 40):
I do remember seeing all the cessna 172 being painted in camo colors that were based on a small grass strip near my aunts house. Even back then i knew they had no military value as weapons and were newer used as such.

Actually - at least in Croatia - they too were very active during the early stages of the war. When it had all started back in 1991, a vast majority of military equipment was located in Serbia, Montenegro and - in the case of the Željava military airbase near Bihać - Bosnia. The newly-formed ground forces in Slovenia and Croatia had, at best, an occasional APC, most being stuck with some light anti-tank weapons and standard issue rifles and small arms; the air forces didn't even exist on paper, while the navy was similarly under-equipped. To deviate a bit from aviation history, this lack of armaments had started the so called "Battle of the Barracks", a series of small offensives by Croatian ground forces on JNA-held weapons depots across the country, aimed at capturing some heavier weaponry.

The nascent Croatian AF however had no such option, so it was felt that the only alternative - especially in the face of the UN arms embargo - was to press into service pretty much anything that could fly. To this end, a number of GA aircraft were converted to fly limited combat missions, including similar camo Skyhawks to the ones you saw  . These F-172 Fighting Skyhawks (  ) were armed with hand grenades and other explosive devices dropped from the cockpit, and generally flew light harassment and reconnaissance missions.

Other modifications had also included UTVA-75 trainers with two or four "Zolja" shoulder-fired anti-tank rocket launchers mounted under the wings (I used to have a period magazine with excellent photos of these aircraft, but for the life of me I cannot find it now), as well as Cessna 188, Dromader and Air Tractor "strike aircraft". These would be fitted with old MiG gunsights and had specially crafted pylons bolted to the wings able to carry light makeshift bombs. In a well known story here, which if anything proves how tough cropdusters really are, the team doing these conversions had managed to drill through an AT-302's wing spar, not noticing until after the work was completed .

CroAF M-18 Dromader


Still more creative were the An-2 bombers, universally known locally as the "boiler bombers". These would be loaded up with so called "boiler bombs", which were actually gas cylinders and hot water boilers filled with high explosives and anything that could act as shrapnel - actual shrapnel, razors and even knives and forks on occasion. These bombs would then be dropped out of open doors by the crews, usually at night and at low level. These aircraft had operated exclusively during the Siege of Vukovar, when their low speed made them virtually immune to interception - indeed, they had even ended up below the detection threshold of the SA-6 SAM batteries deployed around the city. The JNA eventually had to modify the radars to lower their detection threshold; this was the first real threat faced by the An-2s, and after one was destroyed by an SA-6, most missions had stopped (of interest, one of the original boiler bombers is still flying today as 9A-BFT).


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Boran Pivcic - CroSpotterTeam



Yet another role for the An-2s was as what was, half-jokingly, called the "AnWACS": in essence, this was an An-2 modified with various sensors and used as a sort of SIGINT/ELINT/command post/you name it platform. It is still unclear what they actually did and what equipment was fitted; they were - understandably - kept under close watch, and I believe that most of the information regarding their operations is still secretive.

One of apparently several An-2s modified for the electronic role in the nascent Croatian AF. Other versions - possibly the same aircraft - also had a large dorsal antenna.


Another veteran of the early days of the war is an Agusta-Bell AB-47J helicopter, the first rotary wing aircraft in service with the CroAF  . This one was taken out of Zagreb's Technical Museum, returned to airworthy status and had spent a brief time flying medevac missions until Croatian ground forces captured an old Mi-8T, still known today as "Stara frajla", or "old lady". Being old and not blessed with much carrying capacity, the AB-47 was soon returned back to the museum, where it still stands today  .

All of these modifications had bore the brunt of the (at the time limited) air combat missions until the arrival of the MiG-21, Mi-8 and Mi-24 (some of the latter were also modified extensively, one being turned into a medevac model, while another reworked to carry torpedoes).

EDIT: here's another shot I've found of one of the CroAF's camo Skyhawks...
Big version: Width: 450 Height: 300 File size: 40kb
Cessna 172, formerly YU-DMA, pictured at Split in the early 90s. Today still flying with AK Split as 9A-DMA


[Edited 2011-02-22 00:49:42]
No plane, no gain.
 
F27Friendship
Posts: 1098
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:45 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:54 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 31):
Indeed, as I had mentioned myself, the JNA was controlled directly from Belgrade. But to say that fighting a multinational army was fighting the "Serbs" just because a couple of their knuckleheads had started the siege would be like me saying "I hate the British" (which I don't, just as a disclaimer) and then grouping Americans and Australians into the same group - since hey, they were all "started" by the British (simplifying history a bit for the sake of the argument).

forgive me from deviating from the topic, but; eventhough the vast majority of regular JNA troops were from all the former republics of the Federal Yugoslavia, the combattants who committed the massacre in the vukovar hospital were most definitely serbs, as were the people from across the donau river (vojvodina) who came to plunder the vukovar homes...
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:03 pm

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 42):
forgive me from deviating from the topic, but; eventhough the vast majority of regular JNA troops were from all the former republics of the Federal Yugoslavia, the combattants who committed the massacre in the vukovar hospital were most definitely serbs, as were the people from across the donau river (vojvodina) who came to plunder the vukovar homes...

The troops that had committed the Ovčara massacre were indeed Serbs - however, they were not part of the JNA, but actually separate radical chetnik, paramilitary and nationalistic formations which were let off the leash by Milošević after the JNA's growing series of miserable failures in taking Vukovar. But during the siege itself - which was the time period the discussion started from and centered on, and during which the boiler bombers were active - the troops besieging the city were, by a vast majority, "stock" JNA troops.
No plane, no gain.
 
ORDfan
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:02 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:17 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 36):
I think most politicians will understand that only few countries can afford a relatively expensive option like the Eurofighter...
Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 37):
Actually, the EF consortium has been actively pitching the Typhoon for quite awhile now, and has been very active in the local media as well. And while the EF-2000 is indeed a jolly expensive aircraft - the most expensive of the types considered for the abortive fighter tender (F-16, JAS-39, MiG-35 and the Typhoon) - EF is offering a very enticing offset investment package that (on paper at least) should go some way to redressing the balance. Plus, traditionally strong trade links with Germany and Italy - something the EF team is also banking on - probably give the Typhoon some more "credit" as well...

Wow, had no idea Eurofighters were so expensive!! Roughly 90m Euro!?!? I mean at the point the Saab Gripen looks way more economical. Hell, I'm sure the US/Boeing would be willing to sell Croatia (seeing it's a NATO ally) Super Hornets for half that price, especially if they're considering selling them to Denmark, Malaysia, Brazil, UAE, etc. I'm sure they would be Block IIs (still more than capable), like the Australian's version, but I don't think they'd mind having a few more SH NATO squadrons on the continent at all.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:12 am

Quoting ORDFan (Reply 44):
Wow, had no idea Eurofighters were so expensive!! Roughly 90m Euro!?!? I mean at the point the Saab Gripen looks way more economical. Hell, I'm sure the US/Boeing would be willing to sell Croatia (seeing it's a NATO ally) Super Hornets for half that price, especially if they're considering selling them to Denmark, Malaysia, Brazil, UAE, etc. I'm sure they would be Block IIs (still more than capable), like the Australian's version, but I don't think they'd mind having a few more SH NATO squadrons on the continent at all.

As far as I've been given to understand, should Croatia opt for the EF, the aircraft unit price would be significantly lower - but I was not told exactly by how much - and the whole arrangement would also include a comprehensive offset investment package and a bit of technology transfer. The offset investments would go into shoring up the country's stop-start automotive industry, an industry that exports a significant amount of its products into Germany - for example, some Audi, VW and BMW models use electrical cables, windscreens and side windows manufactured in Croatia (as do some Italian carmakers such as Ferrari and Maserati). So in effect, Germany - who'd be handling the EF deal - would, by a circutous route, be investing in its own industry, which could be a strong enough incentive to lower the Typhoon's unit price and make the deal.

On the other hand, assuming that a potential Super Hornet deal would be broadly similar to the F-16 package offered during the cancelled fighter competition, the aircraft would arrive with little more than some ground equipment and a bit of political goodwill. Compared to them, the extensive packages offered by both EF and Gripen have tangible economics, and politics closer to home, on their side, which can partly - or even wholly - offset their higher prices.
No plane, no gain.
 
fraspotter
Posts: 1972
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 8:12 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:11 am

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 13):
Alternatively, Croatia can revisit Belgian and Dutch F-16A/Bs, or even American ones.

Agree... So Croatia couldn't find SOMETHING that they could use out of all this?  
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Michael Vaeremans

"Drunk drivers run stop signs. Stoners wait for them to turn green."
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:31 am

Quoting FRAspotter (Reply 46):
Agree... So Croatia couldn't find SOMETHING that they could use out of all this?
Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 13):
Alternatively, Croatia can revisit Belgian and Dutch F-16A/Bs, or even American ones.

Both options had been offered during the fighter competition, with the former eventually being dropped (or at least not mentioned anymore). The latter - specifically involving Minnesota ANG aircraft - was still active at the time the competition was cancelled, but had very little support within the MoD, with pretty much politics being the only thing keeping it alive.

The problem was that these aircraft had been offered free of charge, but under the condition that Lockheed Martin overhaul and upgrade them to some higher standard (most probably the MLU), which would have given them another 10-15 years of service life. However, the MoD had calculated that, all things considered, the unit cost of such aircraft would come perilously close to that of new-build Block 50/52s... not equal, but high enough to render the purchase completely pointless, as you'd pay just a bit less than for a brand new aircraft, but get one that'll be on the trash heap in just a decade.
No plane, no gain.
 
ORDfan
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:02 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:03 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 45):
On the other hand, assuming that a potential Super Hornet deal would be broadly similar to the F-16 package offered during the cancelled fighter competition, the aircraft would arrive with little more than some ground equipment and a bit of political goodwill. Compared to them, the extensive packages offered by both EF and Gripen have tangible economics, and politics closer to home, on their side, which can partly - or even wholly - offset their higher prices.

I was being a tad bit facetious in my comments, but you make some excellent points. Politically and militarily-speaking, obviously Euro-built aircraft seem to make the most sense. Knowing that spare parts and experienced operators/technicians are just a few hundred miles and a quick flight away seem to make the most tactical sense as the country makes a drastic move from a decades-old fleet to operating a hi-tech, modern one. Furthermore, if the economics (and economic benefits) as you suggest are truly feasible, then the choices should, at least on paper, be a little more apparent.
 
Devilfish
Posts: 5180
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:52 am

RE: Croatian AF To Possibly Stick With The MiG-21?

Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:01 pm

Another offer.....this time, F-4s from Germany.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...n-phantoms-to-replace-mig-21s.html

Quote:
"Germany has offered Croatia a possible deal to acquire 20 of its McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom fighters, as Zagreb nears a decision on how to replace its remaining Soviet-era Mikoyan MiG-21s. Just two of these are available at any given time to protect its airspace.

Croatia must retire its eight MiG-21bisD fighters and two MiG-21UMD trainers by November 2013, while the German air force plans to phase out its last ICE upgrade-standard Phantoms by the end of the same year.

Cash-strapped Croatia is considering whether to launch a competition for a new supersonic fighter, or move for an interim solution that would allow it to slip an expensive purchase by around five years."



Those Phantoms must be older than the F-16s and could be the same age as their MiG-21s.  
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thoralf Doehring
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bas Wanschers

"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests