Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Croatia to purchase 12 used Israeli F-16 aircraft worth $500 million

F-16  “Netz”

Croatia to purchase upgraded Israeli fighter jets

Originally published March 28, 2018 at 4:57 am Updated March 28, 2018 at 5:50 am

By The Associated Press

The Associated Press

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia said Wednesday it will purchase upgraded Israeli F-16 fighter aircraft as it seeks to bolster its defenses amid Russia’s arming of neighboring Serbia.

Once formally approved by the government, it will be Croatia’s largest single military deal since it split from Serb-led Yugoslavia in the bloody 1991-95 war.

Croatia’s Defense Council accepted an Israeli offer that will replace the country’s aging MiG-21 fighters.

The military experts did not specify details of the deal, but previous reports have said it involves 12 used F-16 aircraft worth some $500 million that have been heavily modified with Israeli-made avionics.

Sweden’s manufacturer Saab had offered a squadron of new Gripen fighters, but the package was reportedly estimated at some $700 million.

“If Croatia was a richer country, and if our economy was stronger, maybe we could have picked a more expensive offer,” Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said. “But, based on the parameters presented to us by our expert team, we believe that we have made a responsible decision which will meet all the needs of the Croatian air force in the next 30 years.”

NATO member Croatia faces a mini arms race with Russian ally Serbia, which recently received six used Russian MiG-29 fighter jets.

Moscow is attempting to increase its influence in the Balkans, mainly through Serbia.

The Associated Press

Original post:  seattletimesom

Israel, which offered options to provide surplus F-16A/Bs as well as younger F-16C/Ds, has been awarded a $500M contract to furnish a dozen D model F-16s to the Croatian Air Force.

The competition for the country's small fighter tender was significant. Three countries offered used F-16s, including the United States, Greece, and Israel. Sweden offered-up the JAS-39C Gripen. In the end Israel won out not with its retired F-16A/Bs 'Netz' fighters but with two-seat F-16D 'Barak' models, the oldest of which are now 30 years old. Source:

 F-16C/D 'Barak' 

F-16D 'Barak' 

Externally, the Israeli F-16C differs from other F-16C's by having an extension to the base of its vertical stabilizer, similar to the Norwegian F-16s parachute brake compartment; however, no parachutes are used on IAF F-16s. Israeli F-16s have extensive local modifications, with different avionics fits and higher gross weights, requiring changes in the landing gear and the use of new wheels. The maximum all-up weight of an Israeli F-16 is 48,000 pounds, as compared to 42,300 pounds for a USAF Block 40 F-16C. The third batch of F-16C/D's is fitted with Elta's EL/L-8240 ECM, replacing Lockheed Martin Defense Systems' (LMDS, formerly Loral) AN/ALQ-178 Rapport III internal ECM. F-16C's appear to have larger navigation lights mountings on the intake. These most likely house electronics. The F-16C/D's ordered to compensate for the cancelled Lavi Project received Israeli ECM systems (manufactured by Elisra), and flight management computers (made by Elbit).

While the F-16B is a two seat version of the F-16A used for pilot conversion, the Israeli F-16D is completely different from the F-16C. The back seat is reserved for the F-16s Weapon System Operator, just as one can find at the F-4 Phantom. Externally, this fighter differs from other F-16D's by having a boxlike extension from the cockpit to the vertical stabilizer, referred to as a dorsal spine.  Source: f-16net

Updated Mar 30, 2018

Related articles:
Israel agrees to sell 30 aging F-16 planes to Croatia
Israel to sell Croatia F-16s for $500m
US, Greek F-16 bids out as Croatia looks to Israel, Sweden for fighter jet deal
Croatian response to Serbian MiG-i-29 (ANALYSIS)
Gripen C / D MS20 vs F-16 C / D Barak: Technological superiority, considerably simpler and cheaper exploitation
4 nations bid for Croatian fighter jet deal; F-16 and Gripen under consideration
Croatia to seek new fighter jets from five countries
Croatia MOD sends queries to Gripen JAS-39, US F-16, South Korea FA-50 and Israel F-16 Barak

F-16C/D: Detail

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