Croatia's air force has taken delivery of five additional Mikoyan MiG-21bis fighters purchased from Ukraine, in addition to a deal to overhaul its existing fleet of seven bisD fighters and UMD-model trainers.

The first two newly acquired aircraft arrived in Zagreb from Odessa by road transport on 16 April, with the remainder following shortly afterwards. Completely refurbished and equipped to Croatian air force specifications, the fighters will be officially received at the service's 91 air base at Zagreb-pleso after reassembly and flight tests.

Carried out under a €13.9 million ($19.1 million) deal with Ukraine's Ukrspecexport agency, the programme to prepare 12 overhauled MiG-21s will provide Croatia with assets needed to bridge the gap in training and operations until funds are secured for a new combat aircraft.

Civil and political turmoil in Ukraine has not yet affected the redelivery of Croatia's original seven aircraft, which have been delayed due to technical problems. However, an escalation of hostilities between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists could potentially cause additional delays.

Croatian media outlets have reported a more than one and a half month delay in work to overhaul two Mil Mi-8MTV transport helicopters. The work should already have been completed by the ZTC repair centre in Velika Gorica near Zagreb, but required assembly parts are “delivery-ready, but blocked in Sevastopol”. The air force has already received four of the overhauled rotorcraft since February.

Source: Flight International