ZAGREB, September 26, 2019 – The Croatian interdepartmental commission for the procurement of multi-purpose combat aircraft said on Wednesday that it had received five letters of expression of interest to provide the country with new fighter jets and eight letters of expression of interest for second-hand jets.
In early August, the interdepartmental commission, set up by the government on 4 July, sent requests to 26 potential bidders concerning the procurement of multi-purpose combat aircraft, the government’s press office recalls.
Since then the commission has considered the proposals made by those bidders who expressed interest in this project.
During the selection procedure, the commission is going to check the validity of all potential bids and to see if they comply with the tactical and technical requirements made by the Croatian Air Force.
Media outlet speculate that the expressions of interest have been submitted by Italy, France, Sweden, the USA, Norway, Denmark and Israel.
Israel is offering again its used Barak jets, and France is set to offer its used Mirage 2000 planes or brand new Rafal planes.
According to media reports, Italy has recommended its used Eurofighter jets.
New F-35 and F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft are being offered by the USA, while Sweden has recommended recent versions of Gripen C and D. Norway and Denmark are offering their used F-16 jets.
On 2 September, Robert Kopal, a special adviser and analyst of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, said that the government’s aim would be to conclude contracts on the purchase of 12 fourth-generation jet fighters, and that both brand new and used aircraft would be considered as options.
“It is our aim to have the contracts signed until the end of next year,” Kopal said then adding that analyses have shown that Croatian needs now 12 combat planes.
Kopal said that one of many parameters included in decision-making would be the date of delivery of the jets which Croatia needed.
In early January, the purchase of the Israeli F-16 Barak fighter jets fell through after Israel admitted that it could not obtain the approval from Washington for the delivery of those aircraft to Croatia.
More news about fighter jet acquisition can be found in the Politics section.