World News

Croatia begins evaluating U.S., French and Swedish offers for fighter jets

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatia’s defence ministry said on Wednesday it has begun evaluating offers from three bidders after it said it wanted to buy fighter jets to modernise its air force.

The defence ministry said Croatia would evaluate the offers from the United States for F-16 jets made by Lockheed Martin Co, from France for Dassault Rafale fighters made by Dassault and from Sweden for Gripen planes made by Sweden’s Saab AB.

“We expect to enter the stage of decision-making in early 2021,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry did not give details about the offers or the number of aircraft it aims to buy.

Croatia joined NATO in 2009 and the European Union in 2013. Its air force has a squadron of Russian-made MiG-21 jets dating from its past within the former Yugoslavia, but they are outdated and only a few are currently operational.

Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Hugh Lawson