The Croatian Air Force took delivery of the first of 12 second-hand Dassault Rafale B multi-role fighter aircraft from France on 2 October at the French Air Force Base Mont-de-Marsan.
The ceremony was attended by Croatian Defence Minister Mario Banožić, together with the Head of the Prime Minister’s Office Zvonimir Frka-Petešić, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Croatian Veterans’ Affairs Tomo Medved, as well as a delegation of the Croatian Armed Forces headed by Chief of General Staff Admiral Robert Hranj.
Defence Minister Mario Banožić said: “According to the information I keep getting from the Croatian Air Force as well as from Croatian citizens, everyone is very enthusiastic. We have preserved the hard-earned combat capability formed during the Homeland War. Not only have we preserved it, but we have also developed it further.”
“These are 4.5+ generation Rafales that put us as a trusted NATO partner and an EU member in a position that we have had so far in other services. This new position will bring us new tasks, but also certain new values which we will further strive to develop with our allies and partners through donations and the continued modernization and equipping of all three services.”
The Dassault Rafale B is a French twin-engine, twin-seat, canard delta wing, multi-role fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation.