Croatia to purchase upgraded Israeli fighter jets

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

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

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.

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 were heavily modified with Israeli-made avionics.

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.

Categories: International News