Croatia’s government stated on Thursday evening that it would cancel its decision on the purchase of F-16 Barak fighter jets for the national Air Force, after an Israeli delegation earlier in the day informed Zagreb that it had not managed to obtain the approval from the United States for the delivery of the upgraded used 12 planes to Croatia, HINA reports.
After a meeting on the matter which took place in the main offices of the Croatian defence ministry when the Israeli side officially notified Zagreb that it had not got the final approval from Washington, the delegation led by the Israeli defence ministry’s director-general Udi Adam was received by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in Government House.
The government says in a press release that the ministry’s director-general Adam informed PM Plenkovic that Israel had not managed to obtain the approval from the US the sale of the F-16 jets concerned.
Pursuant to the notification, the government is going to annul the decision on the purchase of those fighter jets, however, it remains committed to the plan to modernise the Croatian Air Force.
Croatia should have be provided by Israel with the 12 used F-16 jets, and those were airplanes originally from the USA and enhanced in Israel.
Washington, however, did not okay the Third Party Transfer (TPT) for the revamped planes.
At the start of this year, Zagreb set a deadline for Israel to inform it by 11 January if it would be able “to deliver the aircraft offered at the international tender and chosen by the Republic of Croatia in a transparent procedure,” the Croatian ministry stated.
“The State of Israel is responsible for obtaining the approval from the United States for the supply of the aircraft configured as agreed by the Republic of Croatia. Upon receipt of the official stand from the State of Israel, the Ministry will inform the Croatian public without delay,” reads the press release issued on 4 January.
“In the event that due to disagreement between the State of Israel and the United States the Republic of Croatia does not obtain the aircraft, the Government of the Republic of Croatia will annul the decision on the procurement of the chosen multirole fighter aircraft (dated 29 March 2018).”
Croatia has managed the project in a systematic, professional and transparent way, acting in the national interest, the ministry underscored then.