Croatia has officially taken delivery of its first Dassault Rafale fighter jet from France, part of a 12-aircraft acquisition aimed at modernizing its air force.
The handover took place at a French Air Force base, with the remaining six jets set for arrival in 2025.
The late 2021 Rafale agreement is worth approximately €1.155 billion, with Croatia's selection of Rafales in May 2021 to replace its aging MiG-21s. The deal was officially signed in November 2021, and payments will be spread from 2021 to 2026.
Croatia will receive 12 Rafale aircraft, including 10 single-seaters and two twin-seaters, all in the F3-R standard, with the oldest aircraft being just 10 years old. The delivery schedule spans two years, with the first six jets arriving in 2024 and the remaining six in 2025.
The F3-R Rafale comes equipped METEOR Long Range Air-to-Air Missile, the Thales TALIOS New Generation Laser Targeting Pod, the Safran AASM Air-Ground Munition, and various sensor systems.
The agreement also covers training and ammunition supply, ensuring pilot readiness.
The Croatian Air Force plans to operate these aircraft until the early 2050s, ensuring long-term defense enhancement.