Croatia will purchase 12 Rafale multirole fighter aircraft for 999 million euros ($1.2 billion), the government press office said on Friday.
The country held a contest for purchasing new airplanes for the air forces, where France, Israel, Sweden and the United States presented bids.
“The Government assessed that France’s offer was the best and decided to procure 12 multi-role Rafale fighter aircraft (10 single-seat and 2 two-seat aircraft),” the statement said.
According to Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, the French airplanes will provide “a powerful strategic deterrent for the next 30 to 40 years.”
Plenkovic said that the Rafale jet was the only one of the four offered aircraft that has the possibility of supercruising. Croatia will receive the planes for the most favorable price in compliance with an agreement with the French government, the official added.
The twelve Rafale jets will replace Croatia’s Russian-origin MiG-21s in the country’s biggest arms purchase since its 1990s war of independence from Yugoslavia.
Earlier, Egypt decided to acquire an additional 30 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation in a deal worth €3.75 billion. This new order from Egypt complements the first acquisition of 24 Rafale jets signed on February 2015 and will bring the total number of Rafale jets flying under Egyptian colors to 54.