Defence Minister Inspects Purchased Fighter Jets in Israel

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 3, 2018 – On the second day of his official visit to Israel, Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević visited Ramat David Airbase in the north of the country, saying that it was very important that the Israelis share their valuable knowledge and experience with Croatian pilots and aircraft repair and maintenance personnel, the Defence Ministry said in a statement on Monday evening.

Krstičević met with the commander of the airbase, in which three squadrons of F-16 multi-purpose fighter jets are stationed. It was in this base that Croatian Air Force Colonel Željko Ninić flew an Israeli F-16 on April 9 as the first Croatian pilot to do so, the statement said.

“The plan is that the Israeli F-16s come to Croatia from this base. Our dream is to see two of these planes in the Croatian skies in 2020 and I hope this will happen. We are now at the stage of preparing contracts and selecting pilots and maintenance personnel who will go to Israel next year for training,” the defence minister said.

“The transition to fourth-generation aircraft is a major technological step forward for the Croatian Air Force. We have a chance to work with the best and it is very important that we are mentored by the Israelis, that they share their valuable knowledge and experience with Croatian pilots and maintenance personnel,” he added.

Colonel Ninić, who accompanied Minister Krstičević, said he was happy to be given a chance to again visit the base that is home to the Israeli F-16s. “Personally and professionally, I am very happy to be part of this project. The Croatian Air Force and the Fighter Squadron are getting an excellent solution that will satisfy all our needs and capabilities. Our pilots and maintenance personnel can’t wait for the training to start and I am certain that this aircraft will meet all our expectations,” he said.


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