Croatia begins evaluating new fighters

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noth

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Unread post29 May 2021, 07:39

Jean-Yves Le Drian (the French foreign minister, ex-defence minister) wins again. He's the only person in French gov in the past 30 years able to sell Rafales in the export market. Does make you wonder how he does it...

Meanwhile, this is the second deal France has done involving second hand Rafales, and the French AF doesn't exactly have zillions of them lying around. They're in for a capability gap in the 2022-2025 time unless somehow Rafale production accelerates. Could cause problem for their external ops commitments (Mali & Syria/Iraq).
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milosh

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Unread post29 May 2021, 07:46

madrat wrote:Novi Avon was overlap to Gripen. No real market.

Even a cheap JF-17 has little market penetration.


NA was developed for domestic market so export wasn't that relative but nonalignment countries would be its primary export market in future.
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herciv

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Unread post30 May 2021, 08:40

milosh wrote:While Croatia probable don't have money for this deal they will still go with it. Reason is simple our AF became lot stronger because we got more less free second hand MiG-29s from Russia and Belarus. So they need to counter that even though they are in NATO and chance of Serbia attack them is 0. But because of internal politics they need to do something.

Btw what is quite interested,1980s Yugoslavian Novi Avion/Yu supersonik project was nicknamed baby Rafale because it shared noticeable design similarities with Rafale and some sources mentioned french connection in that project:

whaoooo
:inlove: :inlove: :inlove: :inlove: :inlove:
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herciv

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Unread post08 Jun 2021, 14:06

https://obris.org/hrvatska/francuski-ve ... rtnerstvo/
999 millions correspond to 12 rafales + training + armament + spare + simulator

"

When it comes to the so-called complete package, does it include all the training, the aircraft and everything necessary for these aircraft to be operational in Croatia?

"Surely. That includes the aircraft, of course, the training, but also the equipment, including weapons, certainly, because they are military aircraft. But also, what I think is important for Croatia, is also a training flight simulator, which will be in Croatia, especially dedicated to the Rafale. This will be organized with the aim of training future generations of Croatian pilots. Because, as the Croatian Prime Minister said, this is a decision for the next thirty to forty years, something that is planned for the long term. "

"

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
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block4

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Unread post13 Jun 2021, 20:40

milosh wrote:
madrat wrote:Novi Avon was overlap to Gripen. No real market.

Even a cheap JF-17 has little market penetration.


NA was developed for domestic market so export wasn't that relative but nonalignment countries would be its primary export market in future.


There's probably no such thing as a 'non-alignment' country these days unfortunately, but with respect to the actual topic here as far as the most pragmatic and optimal basic next-gen tactical fighter squadron Croatia could acquire and sustain for decades ahead in order to fulfill basic tactical air capabilities...maybe the Rafale is arguably the best deal for Croatia . One can always argue something against anything, right ?
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njinsa

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Unread post13 Dec 2021, 20:55

Just registered to check in if someone is still interested in Rafale story in Croatia.
Maybe I'll put more political/regional perspective as you guys here know almost all in terms planes and systems.

@Shadowhawk, there's no point to hide on the behalf of bad CAF after your April assessment of Croatian mindset.
You placed bet underrating Croatians even your raw figures on CAF and current capabilities are accurate and balanced.
If your logic was used 30 years ago, Croatia would surrender to then mighty JNA and it would fail to declare and endure as independent state. That was an official estimate of then high ranking aide of Charles Baker office, responsible for Yugoslavia and southern NATO flank in Naples.

There are solid reasons why CAF is in bad shape and there's no doubt that incompetent policy makers in last 25 years were only to blame for that. Barak deal should be seen as part of this shame, too. Now, it seems that even such low competent Croatian policy was lucky enough to strike a deal with Paris - they badly need new Rafale R4 units being financed outside France by 2nd hand F3R3s; Croatia was amongst the few countries to receive significant help to overcome the effect of COVID-19; after Brexit and Merkel step down, French president Macron vowed for more EU cohesion in armed forces and military spending. I'm leaving you the pieces to glue together. It's far from joke mate.

Milosh was very correct and unbiased on Croatia picking on Rafale. In last 5 years Serbia have invested heavily in air and air defense resources using 'neutrality' cover and 1996's subregional arms control agreement (imposing limits on 5 main arms categories, but not challenging complexity and capability). It's widespread opinion in Croatia that Serbia will try to overtake their land at Kosovo, in a moment when USA and part of EU countries are dealing with some other, more important challenges. In the meantime, Serbia is indirectly connecting this domestic issues with Serbs in Bosnia, trying to secure better negotiating position with the West (we leave Bosnia alone if you ditch out Kosovo). That's a key spot for Croatia as policy makers see Bosnia as proxy theater for a limited Serbo-Croatian showdown, maybe for sake of local election runs.

Part of package include MICA IR and RF, quite few GP bombs (unguided), gun ammo as 1st tranche.
Meteor is unconfirmed as RBE-AA too - there are some clues that AESA equipped jets will be flown in from day 1.
IMHO, total surplus as pilots needs to accept the platform, procedures and start flying, no need to stock something you don't know how to employ.
This sale is part of a larger G2G deal. Not yet sure whether it could enable 2nd long lasting priority for CAF - medium range SAM, but scope for increased military spending do widen with current heading of France trying go play more critical role in the EU/Mediterranean.
Cheers.
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shadowhawk

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Unread post14 Dec 2021, 16:37

You have written a long post, but I do not have time to reply in great length... But only this is enough... Of the first group of pilots that are scheduled to go to France, none will be younger than 40 years of age by the time they start flying.
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njinsa

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Unread post14 Dec 2021, 20:43

Age plays equal with no respect to the platform, those guys would still be 40 and over if Croatia picked up i.e. FA-50.
Actually all of them had a very good mentor who retired from active duty only 2 years ago at age of 59.
His skills and experience, when shared amongst those F-16 and F-14 crews he met in last 15 years were something even most trained and skilled west pilots never experience outside combat sorties.

Most of those guys fly for reasons no quite rational for people outside this region.
There's a thin red line between sanity and heroism.
Pretty hard to explain to some who was not involved in Balkans in last 30-40 yrs.

We'll see how it plays pretty soon.

Anyways, thanks for contributing.
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hythelday

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Unread post26 Dec 2021, 21:59

Image

Picked up from @RafaleFan twitter.

@milosh, any real weight behind this, or just politician making sure he says the right things?
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njinsa

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Unread post27 Dec 2021, 00:27

Nice catch!
As a classical autocrat, Vucic doesn't need to act, his intentions are considered very seriously although he needs something to secure win in next election year. So far everything he said proved to be almost 100% on track.

Serbian military leaders highly praise Rafale even since 2012's review, when Vucic took the role of MoD. Rafale's connection to the never developed NA project in ex-Yugoslavia is definite and very strong.
Few years ago, before Serbia decided to invest in MIG-29 fleet, RFI for new aircraft was issued, Dassault had responded with Rafale. Back then, it was deemed as too expensive and not yet badly needed as Croatia was showing every single sign of jet air force demise. Now, with Croatia getting forward with Rafale, he needs something to balance on the home turf. It won't be easy as he created a wide national agenda in which Serbia needs to dominate above all ex-Yugoslav nations, from economic to military aspects. So far, he was very smart in rebuilding the Serbian military as obsolete hardware were long overdue for replacement; from historical and pragmatic reasons he opted for Russian and Chinese with a bit of France providing new combat helicopters and short-range SAMs. When Croatia started to renew it's own military he used that as a justification for next level of military uplift, just like now.

My bet is that he'll show up with medium or/and long range SAM system in early 2022 and will use that as a stick to show off some force.
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