Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic visited Ramat David Airbase in Israel to view used F-16D Barak fighter jets, it was announced on 2 July.
Defence Ministry said in a statement on Monday evening, that it was very important that the Israelis share their valuable knowledge and experience with Croatian pilots and aircraft repair and maintenance personnel.
“The plan is that the Israeli F-16s come to Croatia from this base. Our dream is to see two of these planes in the Croatian skies in 2020 and I hope this will happen. We are now at the stage of preparing contracts and selecting pilots and maintenance personnel who will go to Israel next year for training,” the defence minister said.
It should be reminded that Croatian government decided to buy twelve F-16D Barak multi-purpose fighter jets from Israel in March this year. The acquisition of 12 aircraft is estimated to be worth about $500 million.
The Croatian government plans to replace its aging fleet of Mikoyan MiG-21 aircraft with new fourth-generation aircraft.
“The transition to fourth-generation aircraft is a major technological step forward for the Croatian Air Force. We have a chance to work with the best and it is very important that we are mentored by the Israelis, that they share their valuable knowledge and experience with Croatian pilots and maintenance personnel,” noted Defence Ministry.