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Apr 27 2024

Historic day for Croatia as the country receives first six Rafale fighters

RAMSTEIN, Germany - On April 25, 2024, a welcome ceremony took place at the "Colonel Marko Živković" barracks in Velika Gorica as the Croatian Air Force received the first six of a total of 12 Rafale multi-purpose fighter jets that will operate in the 191st Fighter Squadron of the 91st Wing.

The first six CRO Rafale multi-purpose fighter planes guard the Croatian skies
Croatian Air Force pilots flew the Rafale planes - four single-seaters and two two-seaters - in from the France, where the training and education of Croatia's air and ground crews takes place.

"I congratulate everyone who participated in the procurement, which represents the largest investment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia since independence of our country," said the President of the Croatian Parliament, Gordan Jandroković acknowledging the gain in airspace security for the population.

The first six Rafale fighter jets arrived in Croatia after final preparations, air and ground crew training took place in France. Operated by the Croatian Air Force 191st Fighter Squadron they will guard Croatian skies under NATO Air Policing arrangements. Photo courtesy Croatian Ministry of Defence.
"This is a historic day for Croatia! The first six Rafale multi-purpose fighter planes guard the Croatian skies from today. The security of our country has been raised to a level it has never been before. We are proud to realize the largest investment in the capabilities of the Croatian Army," said the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Andrej Plenković. "In the Rafale planes, we are gaining the power of deterrence, we are strengthening our strategic partnership with France, we have joined the Dassault family, which significantly changes our role in NATO and the EU," said the Prime Minister.

The Rafale is a versatile multi-role aircraft, capable of carrying out all the missions assigned to a fighter aircraft: nuclear deterrence, penetration and attack on the ground in all weather, attack at sea, defence and air superiority, long-range intervention, air-to-air refueling, tactical and strategic reconnaissance. The acquired state-of-the-art capability strengthens not only the Air Force but also the Land and Naval Forces.

The Rafale fighter jets will eventually take over Air Policing in the Croatian skies. The protection of the Croatian airspace is integrated into NATO arrangements and overseen by Allied Air Command in Ramstein, Germany, and the Alliance's southern Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejon, Spain.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on input provided by the Croatian Ministry of Defence.

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