according to the Croatian site jutarnji.fr, which is none other than the most important title of the country's leading press group, the authorities in Zagreb have reportedly selected the French offer for 12 used Rafale to modernize its air force and replace its Mig-21s acquired from Russia may after independence. The cost of the operation, including the 12 devices, ammunition and training, would represent an envelope slightly less than € 1 billion. The first 6 aircraft, which will be taken from aircraft in service with the French Air Force and Space, could be delivered as early as 2024 if the final contract could be signed before the end of the year, the last 6 in 2025. The Croatian Defense Council would have, according to the site, given its support to the government to acquire the apparatuses. A second Croatian site, vecernji.hr, gives more details about the operation, and specifies that the training of pilots will take 2 years, and that the speed of delivery of the Rafales would have been an important criterion in this case.
If the information were to be confirmed, and we have every reason to believe that it will be very soon, it would be another success for the French aircraft this year, after the acquisition of 18 Rafale including 12 used by Greece in January, and the announcement of a surprise order for 30 new aircraft by Egypt a few days ago. It is, moreover, the first customer not belonging to the Dassault ecosystem, since Egypt, Qatar, India and Greece are, all 4, regular customers of French aircraft, and all use Mirage 2000s. It would also be a great success for the new French position integrating second-hand devices into its offers, based on the extraordinary upgradeability of the Rafale in the face of its competitors. It would finally be the first direct success of the Rafale against the F16 Viper, presented as the main competitor of the French aircraft in this case, and which had so far taken control of a large part of the modernization contracts of the Eastern European air forces.
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