mig21umd
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Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:13 pm

Israeli media is reporting that Israel will sell 12 F-16 Baraks to Croatia for $500 million USD. The leaders of the two counties held a working meeting at Davos where they agreed to push forward with the deal.

Not 100% official yet but it looks like Croatia has made a decision here (finally :bigthumbsup: ).

I'm sure SAAB and Sweden would be disappointed but they would have been closer to double the price of what Israel offered and which by previous reports will be a complete multi-roll platform something which again Croatia would have had to pay more to get the same capability from the Gripen.

So all in all if this does happen than it would be the best option for Croatia in my opinion.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:52 pm

Sad news to my ear but good luck with these used F-16. :conehead:
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:43 pm

The Times of Israel is reporting that the deal includes up to 30 planes. Yikes!

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-ag ... o-croatia/
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:53 pm

Replacing 12 MiG-21's with 30 F-16's? :o
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:00 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Replacing 12 MiG-21's with 30 F-16's? :o


Two for active duty, and 28 for spares :D.

Though, I'd take that info with a huge grain of salt. 30 jets for USD 500.000.000? That's USD 16.000.000 a pop including armament, spares, support equipment and training. So, that's a fighter - admittedly used - for the price of a mid-size business jet? Really? Or Israeli media trying to spin the whole deal to drum up headlines on a wave of cheap local pride?
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:02 pm

TripleDelta wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Replacing 12 MiG-21's with 30 F-16's? :o


Two for active duty, and 28 for spares :D.

Though, I'd take that info with a huge grain of salt. 30 jets for USD 500.000.000? That's USD 16.000.000 a pop including armament, spares, support equipment and training. So, that's a fighter - admittedly used - for the price of a mid-size business jet? Really? Or Israeli media trying to spin the whole deal to drum up headlines on a wave of cheap local pride?


I think the Dutch sold their old F-16's off for around 10mio a pop, so not unrealistic the 16mio.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:10 pm

Double post, ignore. Can't seem to type properly today!
Last edited by TripleDelta on Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:10 pm

Dutchy wrote:
I think the Dutch sold their old F-16's off for around 10mio a pop, so not unrealistic the 16mio.


Just the jets themselves, or the whole package?

Also bear in mind that switching from a Soviet to Western support infrastructure (not to mention conversion training and associated crew expenses) is a huge financial undertaking.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:54 pm

Switching from the MiG-21 to the F-16 is much more expensive than just selling the jets off to a current operator of the type (or even another Western aircraft); it means going from a Soviet to a NATO style of operations, with the additional caveat of having to have both operating in parallel until the conversion is fully complete. Off the top of my head, some of the issues you have to pay for include:

  • training: you have to train both air and ground crews - that means pilots, instructors, mechanics, planners, emergency teams, operation controllers and so on. Since this will likely not be possible in Croatia, you have to send all those people somewhere abroad - which means paying for their transport, accommodation, food and spending allowance, as well as the people who'll do the instructing, simulators, training flights on actual aircraft and so on
  • ground equipment: tow trucks, fueling trucks, ground starters, cranes, cradles, test benches, light and heavy hand tools... all will have to be bought anew
  • spares: you need engines, pylons, structural components, avionics, weapons systems... none of which is compatible with what is currently in the CroAF inventory. Essentially, you'll have to buy enough spares to pretty much assemble a few jets from parts alone, especially considering that the first few years operations will be far from smooth and more frequent breakdowns are to be anticipated
  • armament: again, nothing the air force currently has is even remotely similar to what the F-16 uses
  • transport: whether disassembled or flown over, transporting the jets is a proper undertaking. The "new" 21s that had been added a few years back were trucked from the Ukraine by road - which wasn't cheap - and then had to be assembled, ground tested and then test flown through numerous sorties to be given the all clear. This costs big money, not to mention taking up a lot of time (during which you still have to keep the MiGs operational)

At USD 16 million a pop, this sounds like a bit of a stretch to be honest. Then there are other issues that need to be considered - not part of the actual buy, but nevertheless further money pits which have to be factored into the equation:

  • infrastructure: all bases where the jets would operate have to be modified and enlarged to accept the F-16, including (very likely) improved FOD control on the runways. Then of course, there are the workshops (if any are envisaged at all), climatic conditions in hangars and whatnot else. While most of this would likely be financed differently (not part of the actual buy), it is still an expenditure to be taken into account

  • disposal: while you can dump the 21s in a remote corner of the base (which is the default modus operandi for the CroAF), you can't do the same with the weapons. You have properly dispose of a vast arsenal of cr*p that had accumulated over the years, which again requires significant funds
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:35 pm

The gov't had gone on record today saying that the decision had NOT been made yet, and that it will be announced as soon as all bids are "carefully considered".

Make of that what you will :).
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:24 pm

TripleDelta wrote:
At USD 16 million a pop, this sounds like a bit of a stretch to be honest. Then there are other issues that need to be considered - not part of the actual buy, but nevertheless further money pits which have to be factored into the equation:

Something to remember is that these aircraft essentially cost Israel nothing. They were paid for through US military aid, as were most of the upgrades that were made to them over their lifetimes. In that context if it is US$500 million for 30 airframes it is not too unrealistic. Noting that Canada paid US$300 million for 18 RAAF Classic Hornets in their current state, for aircraft with likely less hours available but better current capability it doesn't seem outside expectations. I also expect a number of those airframes may be used for spares and delivered in a non flyable condition.
 
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:01 am

[quote="TripleDelta"]

Two for active duty, and 28 for spares :D.

lol :lol:
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:17 am

It had been mentioned before that the Israeli offer would include a mix fleet of the C/D or Barak mixed with older A/B type. I guess we all assumed that the mix fleet offered would total 12 planes. Could we see Croatia take on 12 Barak along with 18 A/B F-16s which could be a source for spare parts?

Agree with TripleDelta that whatever the final deal is it will be a huge project and undertaking for the Croatian Air force.

One thing I don't doubt here is the professionalism and capability of the guys and girls in the CroAF to see this transformation through. Despite nepotism being alive and well within some parts of Croatian society I don't think it is the case in the military, especially when it comes to the airforce pilots and technicians. The selection criteria is very demanding and they don't seem to falter from this.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:00 am

Ozair wrote:
Something to remember is that these aircraft essentially cost Israel nothing. They were paid for through US military aid, as were most of the upgrades that were made to them over their lifetimes. In that context if it is US$500 million for 30 airframes it is not too unrealistic.


The fact that they cost nothing does not prevent Israel from "earning a quick buck" on their sale. The last thing we'll see in this whole deal is altruism.

Ozair wrote:
Noting that Canada paid US$300 million for 18 RAAF Classic Hornets in their current state, for aircraft with likely less hours available but better current capability it doesn't seem outside expectations. I also expect a number of those airframes may be used for spares and delivered in a non flyable condition.


The key difference here is that Canada bought an aircraft type it already has in its inventory. At the moment they took the Oz birds in, they already had the necessary ground infrastructure, armament, spares, training, tools and so on.

Croatia taking on the F-16 is financially a whole different kettle of fish. For the Air Force, switching from the MiG-21 to the F-16 is like going from a piston airliner to a modern jet; it requires a complete change of thinking and infrastructure to make it work.

mig21umd wrote:
One thing I don't doubt here is the professionalism and capability of the guys and girls in the CroAF to see this transformation through. Despite nepotism being alive and well within some parts of Croatian society I don't think it is the case in the military, especially when it comes to the airforce pilots and technicians. The selection criteria is very demanding and they don't seem to falter from this.


Pilots: yes
Mechs: yes
Bigwigs: hell no. They'll turn the whole deal into a complete and proper mess, like they always do
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:08 am

TripleDelta wrote:

The fact that they cost nothing does not prevent Israel from "earning a quick buck" on their sale. The last thing we'll see in this whole deal is altruism.

Sure, my point was that the low price can be offerred because of that nil initital cost.

TripleDelta wrote:
The key difference here is that Canada bought an aircraft type it already has in its inventory. At the moment they took the Oz birds in, they already had the necessary ground infrastructure, armament, spares, training, tools and so on.

Again sure but Croatia is changing everything no matter which option they chose. The Canadian purchase was to reference a similai number of aircraft within a similar timeframe.

TripleDelta wrote:
Croatia taking on the F-16 is financially a whole different kettle of fish. For the Air Force, switching from the MiG-21 to the F-16 is like going from a piston airliner to a modern jet; it requires a complete change of thinking and infrastructure to make it work.

I don't think the change is that great. Plenty of other air forces have managed that transition and the global support base for the F-16 is huge so there is plenty of industrial knowledge available.
 
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:11 am

Ozair wrote:
I don't think the change is that great. Plenty of other air forces have managed that transition and the global support base for the F-16 is huge so there is plenty of industrial knowledge available.


For a small air force that is so cash strapped that it is forced to operate the MiG-21 almost into 2020, it is a very big change - especially financially.

And support may be world-class - but it still has to be paid for. That is the whole issue: paying for the transition, not doing the transition itself. And given the amount of change needed for the whole CroAF, the bill is going to be huge for Croatian standards.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:49 pm

In the mean time, the Croatian MoD is trying to pressure its Ukrainian counterpart into supplying further MiGs - but as compensation for the poor quality of work done on five additional jets bought from Ukrspecexport in 2013 (when the existing fleet was undergoing overhaul in the Ukraine). Four of these have been grounded for months, reportedly due to a high number of quality issues and in-flight system failures. The MoD now wants the Ukrainian government to replace though machines with fresh jets (fully serviced and guaranteed by the government itself) so the fleet could be brought back to its declared 12-ship strength.

Since pushing for the completion of the squadron just as you're preparing to scrap it makes little sense even by Balkan standards, this could very well mean that the final choice for the MiG replacement could still be a while off...
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:22 am

TripleDelta wrote:
Since pushing for the completion of the squadron just as you're preparing to scrap it makes little sense even by Balkan standards, this could very well mean that the final choice for the MiG replacement could still be a while off...


Maybe but the first 'new' jets planned to be delivered from 2020 through to 2022 so the extra 4 MIG jets if they get them could be useful to ensure a capability exists until the new squadron is fully operational.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:58 pm

mig21umd wrote:
Maybe but the first 'new' jets planned to be delivered from 2020 through to 2022 so the extra 4 MIG jets if they get them could be useful to ensure a capability exists until the new squadron is fully operational.


Entirely possible; but even here you can find a counter-argument. The fleet has been operating with roughly the same (reduced) capacity for five years now, and had at all times been able to perform its primary function - albeit just. What's more, all usable jets have these past few weeks been out and about nearly every day, so it's not like they're so strapped for aircraft/pilots/remaining flight time that they're limited solely to the most basic air policing.

If they've been able to operate in this manner since 2013, is it such a stretch to continue for two years more until the first new aircraft arrive in 2020 - especially since in 2019 they possibly wouldn't even have enough pilots available to crew all 12 jets given conversion training for the new type?
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:25 pm

What's more, talks on this matter had started only very recently according to the press. Given that the Ukrainian gov't will naturally fight to protect its own interests, we're looking at a protracted see-saw legal battle that could last many months; and then, even if the Croatian MoD does get its way, it'll take several more for the jets to be refitted to CroAF standards (including the installation of equipment to enable them to operate in civil airspace). By that time, 2020 will either be imminent or already in progress, which makes pushing for those four MiGs completely pointless - unless 2020 is not expected to be achieved.

There's also another problem to consider: the Ukrainian MoD is well aware of the 2020 target - so it is in its interest to delay replacing those four jets as long as possible until the whole issue becomes moot. The Croatian MoD is surely aware of this; if it is really willing to move forward on this matter, it is possible that they believe nothing much will happen by 2020.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:51 am

I would wonder if Ukraine would be in a position to give away 4 Mig-21s. Not sure if they used this capability during the recent conflict but by no means that war has come to a complete end and a number of overhauled fighters could be against their national interest to give away. This could just be a way of Croatia trying to secure some type of compensation for the recent overhaul fiasco but a few extra Migs if they can get them in a reasonable amount of time.... why not?
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:20 am

mig21umd wrote:
I would wonder if Ukraine would be in a position to give away 4 Mig-21s. Not sure if they used this capability during the recent conflict but by no means that war has come to a complete end and a number of overhauled fighters could be against their national interest to give away. This could just be a way of Croatia trying to secure some type of compensation for the recent overhaul fiasco but a few extra Migs if they can get them in a reasonable amount of time.... why not?


That's roughly what the MoD wants them to do, as reported by the media: take the four problematic ones back and supply Croatia with four different examples, all at no additional cost.

As for the strategic impact, the Ukraine has far more potent machinery in its inventory to be bothered by losing a few MiG-21s (which it doesn't even operate anymore).
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:28 am

TripleDelta wrote:
mig21umd wrote:
I would wonder if Ukraine would be in a position to give away 4 Mig-21s. Not sure if they used this capability during the recent conflict but by no means that war has come to a complete end and a number of overhauled fighters could be against their national interest to give away. This could just be a way of Croatia trying to secure some type of compensation for the recent overhaul fiasco but a few extra Migs if they can get them in a reasonable amount of time.... why not?


That's roughly what the MoD wants them to do, as reported by the media: take the four problematic ones back and supply Croatia with four different examples, all at no additional cost.

As for the strategic impact, the Ukraine has far more potent machinery in its inventory to be bothered by losing a few MiG-21s (which it doesn't even operate anymore).


Correct, Ukraine has retired MiG-21 years ago, and apparently there are no trained pilots, nor support infrastructure for the type. So, there's close to 0 probability of Ukraine stalling Croatians, just for the sake of grabbing those MiG-21 and pressing them into service.
On the other hand, aircraft maintenance facilities (e.g. Konotop) are busy reactivating equipment after years (decades, rather) of neglect, and are overworked with critically important programs.
This Croatian request for remanufacture of additional MiG-21s, that are due to be retired within a couple of years from now, would look capricious to anyone who manages repair facilities, in the face of real, front-line needs. In a triage, it goes to the bottom of the list.

If one looks for an ulterior motive in Ukrainian posture, I could postulate that once Croatians get F-16's up and running, the question of disposal of surplus Croatian weaponry of MiG era could be on UkrOboronProm's mind -- they could graciously accept, for free, or with a nominal recycling fee, all operational rockets and other weapons stocks (maybe also spare parts?) from Croatia. With a goal of going through them, and salvaging whatever systems and components could still make sense.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:52 pm

The media is now saying that the decision should be made within one and a half months... by the same defense council that had been shot down the last time.

Further details of the Israeli offer had also begun to emerge - key among which is Israel's desire to set up a F-16 training center at ZAD, complete with a full-motion sim. They're also interested in buying out the country's biggest aircraft maintenance facility - the ZTC works next to ZAG - and turning it into a regional F-16 service depot.

Other bits include investment into agriculture, shipbuilding, tourism and the energy and IT sectors. Of particular interest is Israel's stated desire to cooperate with local universities and companies in the fields of robotics, explosive ordnance removal and cyber security (with the development of protection from drones having been singled out). Elbit is also keen on establishing a factory for infantry-type munitions.

More interesting than all of this is that the details of SAAB's offer (the only realistic alternative at this point) have not been made public. All of the info above has been published in the media without citing any sources - which suggest that it did not come from official MoD channels.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:16 pm

TripleDelta wrote:
The media is now saying that the decision should be made within one and a half months... by the same defense council that had been shot down the last time.

Further details of the Israeli offer had also begun to emerge - key among which is Israel's desire to set up a F-16 training center at ZAD, complete with a full-motion sim. They're also interested in buying out the country's biggest aircraft maintenance facility - the ZTC works next to ZAG - and turning it into a regional F-16 service depot.

Makes sense although who do we expect to get their F-16s serviced in Croatia?

TripleDelta wrote:
Other bits include investment into agriculture, shipbuilding, tourism and the energy and IT sectors. Of particular interest is Israel's stated desire to cooperate with local universities and companies in the fields of robotics, explosive ordnance removal and cyber security (with the development of protection from drones having been singled out). Elbit is also keen on establishing a factory for infantry-type munitions.

More interesting than all of this is that the details of SAAB's offer (the only realistic alternative at this point) have not been made public. All of the info above has been published in the media without citing any sources - which suggest that it did not come from official MoD channels.

LOL, Israel is outSaabing Saab with the industry and university cooperation...
 
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:06 am

Ozair wrote:
Makes sense although who do we expect to get their F-16s serviced in Croatia?


Possibly Bulgaria and Romania once their fleets are operational - even though the latter does have a developed maintenance industry of its own. Apart from them (and Greece), the nearest F-16 operator is Poland, which also has more than enough capability to do the work itself. I had thought that maybe Israel is trying to secure a foothold on the Balkans so that it can pitch the F-16 to other operators looking to modernize their forces... but the only country in the region that has the funds and infrastructure to support fast jets is Serbia.

Ozair wrote:
LOL, Israel is outSaabing Saab with the industry and university cooperation...


Possible... but without official info (and details of SAAB's offer), this could very well be a PR spin by Israel or bits of the MoD that favor the F-16 deal.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:06 am

I know you might have some reservations to this TripleDelta :) but after being disappointed when a decision wasn't made by the end of last year, I am now starting to like the way the Croatian government is handling the purchase of the new jets. It seems to me that if they do make a decision than it would be the best possible outcome considering the parameters they have set and the "kickbacks" look to be all transparent, legal and will benefit large parts of a variety of Croatian industries. It may take a few years to realise but new jets for the air force could eventually see a positive financial outcome for Croatia. So as long a decision is made in 6 week’s time and not deferred again, than I think the government deserves a tick for this one.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:40 pm

The news are reporting that the decision has been made, and that it'll be made to the public next week.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:20 am

TripleDelta wrote:
The news are reporting that the decision has been made, and that it'll be made to the public next week.

I know you and MiG-21umd are hot on news for this but wondered if anything had been released locally yet?
 
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:01 am

Ozair wrote:
I know you and MiG-21umd are hot on news for this but wondered if anything had been released locally yet?


Nothing at all... despite the "next week" deadline having long passed.
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:57 pm

Initial reports say that the committee tasked with reviewing all bids had recommended the purchase of F-16C and D models from Israel. The gov't still has to make the final call, but the general mood is that the deal is all but done.
Hawkeye: "It doesn't make any sense."
Radar: "Well, none of it makes any sense. You just have to send in the right number of forms." - MASH 4077
 
mig21umd
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Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:30 pm

Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:37 pm

Looks like the recent delays were because Croatia was waiting on guarantees from the US that Israel could sell the F-16's to Croatia and that the US based support would be available if needed to Croatia. Expecting it will be officially announced today or sometime this week. (hope I didn't just jinx it) :bigthumbsup:

https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatsk ... o/7170702/
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
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TripleDelta
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Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:11 pm

And it's official: the F-16 is being recommended, which just leaves the government to give the final approval.
Hawkeye: "It doesn't make any sense."
Radar: "Well, none of it makes any sense. You just have to send in the right number of forms." - MASH 4077
 
Ozair
Posts: 2699
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:52 pm

mig21umd wrote:
Looks like the recent delays were because Croatia was waiting on guarantees from the US that Israel could sell the F-16's to Croatia and that the US based support would be available if needed to Croatia. Expecting it will be officially announced today or sometime this week. (hope I didn't just jinx it) :bigthumbsup:

https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatsk ... o/7170702/

TripleDelta wrote:
And it's official: the F-16 is being recommended, which just leaves the government to give the final approval.

Good news, I think that represents the best blend of capability and price for Croatia and they should get at a minimum a good 20 years of service and support out of the airframes.
 
mig21umd
Topic Author
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:30 pm

Re: Croatia selects Israeli F-16s to replace their Mig-21s.

Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:26 am

https://www.tportal.hr/vijesti/clanak/p ... o-20180409

https://www.tportal.hr/vijesti/clanak/p ... o-20180409

Croatian Pilot has test flown an Israeli F-16 Barak.

Well this didn't take long. Sorry in Croatian but there is a video and some pictures.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return

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