New Details Surface About the Croatian MiG-21 Refurbishment Affair

Total Croatia News

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And just when we thought everyone forgot about the “fake MiG-21” affair, the plot thickens.

Remember the story about the Ukranian “frankenplanes” from March 2016? Here’s a quick recap. Croatia’s former government sent 7 MiG-21 planes to Ukraine for complete overhaul and refurbishment and signed a contract to buy 5 more from Ukraine, only to have them returned in less than mint condition. Paperwork was not matching, only three out of 12 planes were operational, and to make matters worse, it is not clear whether Ukraine actually owned the 5 planes it sold to Croatia or if they were just put together from various parts from planes belonging to other countries.  A wide investigation was launched and on June 1, 2016, new details have surfaced regarding the engines which were installed in these planes.

According to Jutarnji list, two engines that are in the planes Croatia bought from Ukraine are of unknown origin. Their serial numbers don’t match the official documentation which was sent to the Ministry of defense by the Ukrainian institute Ukrspecexport. Croatian inspectorate actually contacted the Bulgarian authorities to try and find out the origin of the engines since the investigation already proved that the hulls were Bulgarian and used by their airforce until 1998 after which they were written off. 

Unknown origin of the engines is a major problem not only in the investigation but also for the safety of Croatian pilots since their resources, age and number of flying hours are unknown. After 450 hours of flying, all engines have to undergo a complete overhaul, and if the number of flying numbers is unknown, as it is in this case, the plane cold be dangerous and should not be used at all.

Along with the discrepancy when it comes to the hulls, the investigation conducted by the military police has also proven that the wings were from Algerian planes so it is no wonder the global media is calling them frankenplanes. In the meantime, no charges have been made yet as the investigation is still ongoing. One thing that is well known is the fact that Croatia paid 139.2 million kuna for the refurbishment of existing and purchase of 5 used planes, so someone will have to answer for this very costly mistake sooner or later.

Photos: Wikipedia



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