UPDATE – Feb. 6 2011
Indian Air Force to phase out oldest variants of MiG-21 by next year
Source: Croatia Times
The Croatian Ministry of Defence has invited representatives from Russian fighter aircraft manufacturers to evaluate whether any of its MiG-21 fighter planes could be modernized.
Representatives of the Russian company MiG and Rosoboronexport agency will be coming to Croatia to evaluate the condition of several 20-year-old planes that they manufactured. Croatia is looking to either modernize its current stock or buy some new or used planes.
Eight planes should be modernized according to the Ministry of Defense’s plan, costing the state some 20 million dollars. Considering that these planes are more than 30 years old, only the manufacturer can decide whether they can be “refurbished.” If the Russian experts say this is not possible, Croatia might look to purchases several used jet fighter planes from India.
These planes cost three million Euros and can be used for another 10 years.
Currently Croatia has eight planes that should be taken out of commission this year according to the plan, but force commander Vlado Bagaric claims that they are usable until the end of 2013.
BM: Sidelining the purchase or lease of new Grippen’s to bring the MiGs out to 2013 with today’s economic situation is not far fetched. If anything Croatia just has to have enough of a fighter capability to patrol its airspace and maybe Slovenia’s. Look forward to see if buying planes from India will happen as India’s current fighters will be on the market as the Indians start looking to sell off their current fleet to make room for a possible F-35 purchase.