(January 26, 2018 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković have agreed to advance the sale of Israeli F-16 fighter jets to Croatia.
“This development is another expression of the deep ties between the two countries,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
The agreement, which was reached during a meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, would see some 30 aging F-16 fighter jets sold to Croatia for nearly $500 million. The deal would require approval by the U.S., which produces the Lockheed Martin jets.
Croatia has been looking for some time to replace its fleet of 12 Soviet-era Mikoyan MiG-21 fighter jets and has examined offers from other countries, including French Mirage jets and Sweden’s Saab JAS-39 fighter jets.
Israel, which has the largest contingent of F-16s outside of the U.S., has been retiring its fleet of F-16A and F-16B fighter jets in recent years, and has reportedly offer Croatia a mix of both the older F-16A/B variants as well as F-16 C/D versions, which are still in active service in the Israel Air Force, The Jerusalem Post reported.