The Rafale will fly well under Croatian cockade

This Friday, Croatian authorities have confirmed their decision to acquire 12 second-hand Rafale aircraft with France to replace its last MIG-21s by 2024. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković indicated that the French proposal was the one that best met the needs of the country's air forces, and the most relevant from the point of view of economic view. The contract, amounting to 999 million euros, includes the delivery of 12 Rafale to the F3R standard, the training of flight and maintenance personnel, ammunition and spare parts, in order to give the Croatian air forces the freedom to operate. action necessary and required to defend their airspace and participate in international and coalition operations. The first 6 devices will be delivered in 2024, the other 6 in 2025.

It is undoubtedly a great success for Dassault Aviation, Team Rafale, and the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, who had personally invested in this competition, by going twice to Zagreb in 2020. It is about the 3rd Rafale order since the start of the year, after the 18 aircraft ordered by Greece and the 30 additional aircraft ordered by Egypt. It is above all the first customer not belonging to the Dassault Aviation ecosystem, and more broadly, which is not a traditional partner of the French defense industry. What is more, it is a European customer, while many thought until recently that the Rafale would fail to win on the old continent against American planes and the Typhoon.

Florence Parly visited Zagreb twice in 2020 to support the French offer of second-hand Rafale - This contract is a new personal success for the French Minister of the Armed Forces (Photo MORH / F. Klen)

This success is above all due to a profound change in approach by the French authorities and Team Rafale, highlighting the incomparable scalability of the Rafale by offering second-hand aircraft offering an operational and scalable potential identical to those of airplanes. new, at prices almost half less compared to them. Thus, Rafale's direct competitor in Croatia, Lockheed-Martin, offered 12 new F16 Block 70 Vipers at a price of € 1,7 billion in a package substantially equivalent to that of the Rafale. However, if the F16V is undoubtedly a good and perfectly modern aircraft, it offers neither the versatility, nor even the capacity of evolution of the Rafale F3R over time. By choosing a second-hand approach, Paris has therefore put itself in a position of strength, by integrating itself into a budgetary envelope acceptable to Zagreb, without having to give up certain operational capacities.

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