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TripleDelta
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Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:58 am

Now being reported in the media (most reliable source, in Croatian: http://obris.org/hrvatska/morh-poslao-r ... eni-avion/) that the government had today once again issued five RFPs for the replacement of its rag-tag MiG-21 fleet. The contenders are:

  • F-16 (requests sent to Greece, Israel and the US)
  • F/A-50
  • Gripen

It'll be interesting to see how it pans out this time...
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JetBuddy
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:46 pm

How many aircraft are they looking for?
 
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:49 pm

JetBuddy wrote:
How many aircraft are they looking for?


No source I could find has stated a concrete number, but in past attempts 12 examples were most often quoted (ten single-seaters and two twin-sticks).
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mig21umd
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:52 pm

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/europea ... ghter-buy/

This article states 18 but if they go for the Gripen or new F-16s I would say the max they could afford at this time would not be more than 10.
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:34 pm

No used JAS39?
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CX747
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:00 am

Read a report that the Croatian government flew down to Israel to take a look at recently retired F-16A/B aircraft. If purchased, they would be refurbished and updated before delivery.

Hard to beat the F-16 in this arena. Overwhelming International fleet, parts, training and support. It truly outstrips other platforms in this regard.
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:56 am

Dutchy wrote:
No used JAS39?


No, the only used frames considered are the F-16s.

CX747 wrote:
Hard to beat the F-16 in this arena. Overwhelming International fleet, parts, training and support. It truly outstrips other platforms in this regard.


The only question is is it too much aircraft for Croatian needs. In reality, the only thing fast jets are used for in Croatia is air policing - making a full-blown combat platform an operational and financial overkill. One wonders whether the F/A-50 would be a better choice: cheaper, also likely to be well supported given Lockheed's involvement in the design, does all the AF really needs (i.e. can intercept a stray airliner)... and opens the door to possible commercial use in training pilots of other NATO countries, helping to relieve some of its maintenance costs.
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:06 pm

Over a decade back, I heard from some sources in the Indian Defense ministry that 2 dozen well maintained HAL built Mig-21's were being offered "for free" to the Croatian AF if they bought some HAL built Dhruv Helicopters.

Wonder if that deal actually went through?
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:34 pm

BawliBooch wrote:
Over a decade back, I heard from some sources in the Indian Defense ministry that 2 dozen well maintained HAL built Mig-21's were being offered "for free" to the Croatian AF if they bought some HAL built Dhruv Helicopters.

Wonder if that deal actually went through?


As far as the public domain is concerned at least, Bisons had been officially offered only once - a couple of years back during the last big push to revitalize the MiG-21 fleet. They were briefly pitted against modernization programs from the Ukraine and Romania, but were quickly dropped as a serious option.

No MiGs or helicopters ever operated by the CroAF were of Indian origin or manufacture. All of the hardware is/was either Yugoslav, Soviet/Russian, US, Canadian, Swiss or Czech.
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rlwynn
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:43 pm

What is the cheapest solution that can intercept an airliner? Seems if it cannot do that then it is not needed.
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:20 pm

The cheapest? Perhaps some high mileage business jets could be fitted with a couple of launch rails for AAMs from their existing inventory. It would be just about as effective as most any of the lower end trainers or retired fighters that are out there, but perhaps much cheaper to maintain... Obviously would require a lot of electronics work, but, hey, when you save a lot on the platform...
 
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:41 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
The cheapest? Perhaps some high mileage business jets could be fitted with a couple of launch rails for AAMs from their existing inventory. It would be just about as effective as most any of the lower end trainers or retired fighters that are out there, but perhaps much cheaper to maintain... Obviously would require a lot of electronics work, but, hey, when you save a lot on the platform...


A bizjet - even a very fast one - has a crippling limitation as an air policing platform: it would struggle just to keep pace with a modern airliner, let alone intercept it from a dynamically inferior position (lower and slower). It could perhaps work in a "handover situation", where the airliner in question has already been intercepted elsewhere and just needs an escort through local airspace... but if anything happens in Croatia proper, a converted bizjet would be as useful as a Cessna 172. In this situation, you need an aircraft with a large excess of power, one that can both climb to any altitude within the confines of the country - and then have the speed necessary to intercept and identify the aircraft before reaching the first border.

Another issue is cost; while it is possible to give what are originally passenger aircraft a limited combat capability (the P-8 for example), it is prohibitively expensive to do so on just a couple of old frames for a single operator. It is not impossible that the overall cost of such a solution (R&D and operation included) would be equal to those of a purpose-built aircraft such as used F-16s or some such... especially since you get other capabilities not included in the bizjet.

If we're looking at the issue solely through the prism of air policing, an ideal solution would be one that has some of the raw performance of a dedicated fighter - but not all of the capability. Which pretty much falls right into the heading of the modern armed trainer.

EDIT: the big question then is does the Croatian AF see itself a purely defensive force (which it is at the moment); or do they have any plans for a future offensive capability in mind (such as participating in multinational missions). This will likely be the biggest factor - aside from pure politics - that will decide what class of aircraft will win.
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:52 am

TripleDelta wrote:
If we're looking at the issue solely through the prism of air policing, an ideal solution would be one that has some of the raw performance of a dedicated fighter - but not all of the capability. Which pretty much falls right into the heading of the modern armed trainer.

EDIT: the big question then is does the Croatian AF see itself a purely defensive force (which it is at the moment); or do they have any plans for a future offensive capability in mind (such as participating in multinational missions). This will likely be the biggest factor - aside from pure politics - that will decide what class of aircraft will win.

They are NATO members but even for air policing it is nearly pointless to buy fighters. Croatia is so small that any stray jet will cross it in a few minutes. If they decide that they must have fighters, they should get some that can do CAS/light attack roles too. Again, this would speak in favor of an armed trainer. There is already so much strike capability within NATO that a couple of F-16s moving to Croatia changes nothing. Instead, they should look first what they need themselves and then integrate it into NATO (or other combined forces).
 
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:24 am

I agree that an armed trainer would make the most sense.
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:14 pm

Maybe some armed Super Tucanos or T-6 Texan IIs would be sufficient. They would provide a unique contribution to NATO as well. Not good for air policing though.
 
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:45 pm

TripleDelta wrote:
Now being reported in the media (most reliable source, in Croatian: http://obris.org/hrvatska/morh-poslao-r ... eni-avion/) that the government had today once again issued five RFPs for the replacement of its rag-tag MiG-21 fleet. The contenders are:

  • F-16 (requests sent to Greece, Israel and the US)
  • F/A-50
  • Gripen

It'll be interesting to see how it pans out this time...




They could try to negotiate "hard" with Greece, don´t know how well they their planes are mantained or wich version are but I imagine Greece would like to make some money fast and would love this oportunity.... that´s just my point of view.

Don´t you think?
 
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:16 pm

I hate to say it but it seems they don´t need Gripen,s anyway. Perhaps some A/B,s would made it but they are long gone.
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:29 pm

LOL, my suggestion of a biz jet was largely tongue-firmly-in-cheek, however, that's not to say that the idea is entirely without merit. For a cool $22 million, they can purchase CitationX+ frames that will sprint at .935 for as long as you're willing to burn the fuel. With a largely empty interior, they can make altitude rather rapidly as well. I'll grant that, if fitted with ANY sort of external stores, they aren't going to go that fast, but then, most jet trainers also run into sharply reduced maximum speeds when they have external stores on the pylons as well as they don't have a lot of excess engine thrust capacity unlike frontline fighters. I'll grant you that the citation has less than 1/3 the thrust to weight ratio and climb performance of the lower end of the modern, western jet trainers, but, they can't be converted into an executive transport and fly around government officials either!

Honestly, for what Croatia would want to do, their best bet with the KAI T-50/FA-50. It's got the best climb performance of the bunch while still being multi-role. It's on par with other trainers for cost, and has fairly modern systems. For air soverignty work, with just a pair of AAMs on the tip rails, it should get to altitude in just a few minutes with enough fuel to engage anything that's there. It's all they need or can likely afford right now. In a bulk order, they should be able to get them for less than $25 mill a piece.
 
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:47 pm

tapairbus370 wrote:
They could try to negotiate "hard" with Greece, don´t know how well they their planes are mantained or wich version are but I imagine Greece would like to make some money fast and would love this oportunity.... that´s just my point of view.

Don´t you think?


Greece was quite a surprise actually... used F-16s from Europe have always been on the cards, but only Portugal and the Netherlands had ever been mentioned as possible sources.

In other news, the newspapers report that the government has already secured funds in the 2018 budget for the first instalment of the buy. The due date for submitting offers is 3 October, and it is reported that 10 single seaters and two twin sticks are required.
"Well, none of it makes any sense. You just have to send in the right number of forms" - Radar, MASH 4077
 
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:54 am

TripleDelta wrote:
tapairbus370 wrote:
They could try to negotiate "hard" with Greece, don´t know how well they their planes are mantained or wich version are but I imagine Greece would like to make some money fast and would love this oportunity.... that´s just my point of view.

Don´t you think?


Greece was quite a surprise actually... used F-16s from Europe have always been on the cards, but only Portugal and the Netherlands had ever been mentioned as possible sources.

In other news, the newspapers report that the government has already secured funds in the 2018 budget for the first instalment of the buy. The due date for submitting offers is 3 October, and it is reported that 10 single seaters and two twin sticks are required.

If it is Greek F-16's, it would probably be their Block 30's. They have 34 single seaters and 6 twin seaters.
 
mig21umd
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:31 pm

According to the Croatian defense minister (Damir Kristicevic), a person who was a frontline commander during the Croatian war of independence and eventually became a but since retired general. Croatia will get a complete defensive and offensive platform. Many times he has mentioned in the media how much of a critical roll the CroAF and the Mig-21s played during the final stages of the war and has expressed his ambition to not allow Croatia to be in the situation it found it self in the early 90's. I think this is something he seems very passionate about so as long as he remains defense minister I would put my money on the Gripen or F-16s. Will be interesting to see what the eventual outcome will be but the Gripen would have to be favorite since it is already operated or chosen by countries in a similar situation as Croatia (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary).

Personally I think we will soon see F-16's wearing CroAF markings (just a personal opinion based on recent military cooperation with the US) but I think it will come down to a stable Croatian government and who can offer the best offset agreement to Croatia. One of the key parameters outlined by the Croatian Government.
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:00 pm

mig21umd wrote:
his ambition to not allow Croatia to be in the situation it found it self in the early 90's.


And that is precisely the most worrying thing in this - and all previous - replacement attempts: old guard soldiers living in times gone by buying stuff the country doesn't need with money it doesn't have. This mix of ex-Yugoslav "everyone's the enemy" paranoia and 90s flag waving is exactly the reason the CroAF is nowadays in such a poor operational state.

If the inclusion of proper fighter aircraft is guided by the desire to eventually become a contributing member of NATO, that would not raise a single local eyebrow; despite the cost of such a solution, the political points gained could in time far outweigh the actual cash spent.

But if the intent is to enter into a trans-Danube willy measuring contest, then the whole deal is a waste of time and money... money that could be better spent on, for example, reforming the CroAF's fixed-wing transport capability, or acquiring newer utility helicopters.
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mig21umd
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:02 am

TripleDelta wrote:
mig21umd wrote:
his ambition to not allow Croatia to be in the situation it found it self in the early 90's.


And that is precisely the most worrying thing in this - and all previous - replacement attempts: old guard soldiers living in times gone by buying stuff the country doesn't need with money it doesn't have. This mix of ex-Yugoslav "everyone's the enemy" paranoia and 90s flag waving is exactly the reason the CroAF is nowadays in such a poor operational state.

If the inclusion of proper fighter aircraft is guided by the desire to eventually become a contributing member of NATO, that would not raise a single local eyebrow; despite the cost of such a solution, the political points gained could in time far outweigh the actual cash spent.

But if the intent is to enter into a trans-Danube willy measuring contest, then the whole deal is a waste of time and money... money that could be better spent on, for example, reforming the CroAF's fixed-wing transport capability, or acquiring newer utility helicopters.


I think the Croatian motivation is 2 fold. One is as you stated to become a proper contributing member to NATO and the other is to ensure that there is a decent military balance in the region. Even though we are nowhere near shooting at each other in the region I would not say that a conflict in the not too distant future can not be 100% ruled out especially after seeing how quickly the situation in the Ukraine escalated and how with some wanting to permanently change the boarders of Bosnia, could cause some instability where even someone like Mesic stated such a move could bring a military response from Croatia. I think a modern and well equipped Croatian Military is essential as a deterrent and as a investment in peace. Any conflict in the region could have a much larger impact on the Croatian economy compared to the cost of a number of modern fighters. When you consider the cost the last conflict had I believe the "old guard" is talking more about ensuring Croatia does not present as a easy target again more than worrying about the size of their collective johns.
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:46 pm

Some additional, fresh info (link in Croatian: http://obris.org/hrvatska/krsticevic-264/): to ease the pressure on the state budget, the RFPs stipulate a "2+6+4" delivery schedule, with two jets to be delivered in 2020, six in 2021 and the remaining four in 2022. This is stated as conditional on the contract being signed by mid-2018 the latest.

There's no clear or formal statement as to whether the single or twin-seaters would be delivered first.
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:01 pm

mig21umd wrote:
Any conflict in the region could have a much larger impact on the Croatian economy compared to the cost of a number of modern fighters. When you consider the cost the last conflict had I believe the "old guard" is talking more about ensuring Croatia does not present as a easy target again more than worrying about the size of their collective johns.


If there is a conflict in the region, chances are it would go in one of only two directions: a proxy war between NATO, Russia and/or Turkey - or a dirty, irregular ground campaign. In the case of the former, given the vast forces that could be called upon, a 12-strong fighter force would be swatted aside like a mosquito; while in the latter, the suitability of fast jets in mountainous terrain (versus helicopters and dedicated CAS aircraft) is questionable.

Another "standalone" Balkan war is highly unlikely since all potential armies in the region are so small and operationally inflexible that they simply could not sustain any offensive operation. There is no Yugoslav People's Army anymore... no dominant, overwhelming military in the region... no late 80s and early 90s... only small, purely defensive forces that are not even a shadow of their former selves. The threats that existed 20 years ago are long gone; the threats that exist now either call for a different hardware setup - or are so big that 112 jets would not be enough. So why not buy something that fulfills a basic air policing role and then invest the rest into those parts of the armed forces that actually make a difference (such as firefighting and transport squadrons, engineering battalions, navy SAR ships and so on)?
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mig21umd
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:24 am

Croatia officially received 4 bids from an expected 5 (the Koreans with the KA-50 did not submit a bid).

Israel offering the F-16C, Greece also offering a version of the F-16 while apparently the US has offered Croatia the F-16V block 70 which would be the most modern version of the F-16 to date but also the most expensive. Sweden also submitted a bid with the Gripen. First aircraft are expected to arrive on 2020 with a total of 12 being delivered by 2022.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out with the current Croatian government looks to be committed to making this happen but this could all unravel with a Croatian GFC type of event where the largest Croatian private company (Agrokor) which employs tens of thousands of people in Croatia and the region and also contributes to decent chunk of Croatia's GDP is on the verge of collapse. If this happens than Croatia would struggle to see this through. Probably struggle to make it happen anyway.
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mig21umd
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Re: Croatian Gov't issues RFPs for MiG-21 replacement - again

Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:06 am

Croatian has aloud 50 million euros in the state budget of 2018 for the initial down payment of the new fighter jets. with the decision on type is expected to be announced by the end of this month.
I always felt that this would be again postponed but it is looking more likely to actually happen.

Croatia also announced that it is very keen to acquire 2 Black hawk helicopters to be used to support special forces.

See third last paragraph for notes on defense spending:
https://www.total-croatia-news.com/poli ... for-police

https://www.total-croatia-news.com/poli ... elicopters
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