|Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 49):|
Those Phantoms must be older than the F-16s and could be the same age as their MiG-21s.
As per the local news, the CroAF's operational -21s are generally 1975-78 vintage (though there are a couple from the early 80s lying around, but these have been deemed to be beyond repair by MiG techs). How old are the German Phantoms anyway? The mid-80s keep floating in my mind, but I'm far from certain on that...
While it is a very good aircraft for the money, I personally am of the belief that the F-4 is just "too much aircraft" for Croatia - basically more of an overkill than even the Typhoon. And while I've always been an advocate of twin engines when operating over extended coastal areas with sparsely-located airbases, the Phantom just comes with too much "operational baggage" - including, but not limited to, quite a thirst (then there's also the question of the backseaters: training them would involve yet more expenses and operational changes - even though the upshot would be that it'd get more low-time pilots back up in the skies).