The tide seems to be turning in favor of the Rafale, which has taken many years to be exported. French President Emmanuel Macron and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Thursday, November 25, in Zagreb, sold twelve used Rafale fighter jets to Croatia, for around one billion euros.
During a signing session, the two leaders signed a strategic partnership, then the Croatian Minister of Defense signed two contracts relating to the aircraft with his French counterpart Florence Parly and the CEO of Dassault Aviation, manufacturer of the Rafale.
President Emmanuel Macron said:
“It is a sovereign choice, the contract that we signed this morning [jeudi], it is a historic choice (…). Croatia chooses excellence and strategic convergence between our countries. With us, it sets a new milestone for a Europe of defense. “
“These are planes which will influence the Croatian standing on the international scale and allow us to contribute within the framework of NATO and Croatian defense missions”Andrej Plenkovic added of the acquisition announced in May.
“A new page for the Rafale”
The first six Rafale will be delivered between the third quarter of 2023 and early 2024, the other six before spring 2025. The contract covers the sale of twelve Rafale currently belonging to the French Air Force and Space. and on the training of Croatian Air Force personnel. The CEO of Dassault Aviation has boasted “A new page for the Rafale”, who has won several contracts since 2015.
The French Air Force and Space, which will be deprived of these aircraft for the benefit of Croatia, will benefit in 2023 from an additional order for twelve new Rafale, including “Deliveries will start from 2027”, said the spokesman for the Ministry of the Armed Forces, Hervé Grandjean, during a weekly press briefing.