Croatia to Buy New Fighter Aircraft and Transport Helicopters

Total Croatia News

President Grabar Kitarović reveals in an interview that the final decision will be made by the end of 2017.

In an interview, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović announced that Croatia would buy a squadron of fighter aircraft product by a western country, as well as transport helicopters, most likely American-produced Black Hawks, reports Večernji List on December 24, 2016.

“I believe that we will further strengthen our cooperation with the United States, due to the fact that our armed forces must continue to shift towards western military technologies. The decision on the purchase of supersonic fighter aircraft has been moved to the end of 2017, because we need the time to make a rational decision. However, we have already decided to continue with the procurement of transport military helicopters, most likely American-produced Black Hawks”, said the President asked about future military cooperation with the United States.

The President said that she believed that political consensus has been reached on the decision on procurement of a new combat squadron. “I have talked about it with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. Now we must turn to finding the most efficient and most cost-effective solution”, she added.

“I do not see the latest events as the beginning of an arms race between Serbia and Croatia. Serbia’s purchase of MiG-29 aircraft is a legitimate need of Serbia to secure the defence of its air space,” said the President asked whether the recent decision by neighbouring Serbia to acquire Russian-made MiG-29 aircraft would give addition impetus to Croatian decision on procurement of a new combat squadron.

“Croatia’s intention is to be governed by its own military needs in military procurement. Therefore, the procurement of Western-made military technology from the United States is not directed against Serbia, but is directed against any kind of threat which may arise with respect to Croatia and the Croatian territory . As for the threat of terrorism, we can be allies with Serbia”, said President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović in the interview.

Croatia currently has a squadron of old Soviet-made MiG-21 aircraft, which used to be part of the Yugoslav People’s Army. The issue of buying new aircraft has been in the focus of discussions for years, but the final decision is continuously being postponed due to financial burden that the acquisition would bring.


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