Israel is offering Croatia surplus Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs upgraded to the ACE configuration, as replacements for its Mikoyan MiG-21 fighters.
The Israeli air force is phasing out its F-16A/B-model trainers, ahead of deliveries of the new-generation Lockheed F-35A, which are expected to begin in 2017.
Conducted by Israel Aerospace Industries, in co-operation with several other Israeli companies, the F-16 ACE upgrade provides an Elta Systems EL/M-2032 fire control radar with synthetic aperture radar mapping modes. Updated cockpit equipment includes a trio of 5 x 7in colour displays and an Elbit Systems helmet-mounted display system. The aircraft also can be equipped with a variety of new weapons and sensors.
If a buyer is found for the ex-Israeli air force fighters, they could receive advanced weapons, including Rafael’s Python 5 air-to-air missile, sources suggest.
The Croatian government earlier this year confirmed plans to replace its MiG-21 fleet, saying that it was “already evaluating three possible options”. Second-hand F-16s are being offered by the USA, while Sweden is promoting upgraded Saab Gripen C/Ds.