NATO member Croatia to receive French Rafale fighter jets

France formally signed on Thursday a previously-announced Dassault Aviation Rafale fighter jet contract with NATO member Croatia, Reuters reports.

Reuters TV broadcast images of French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly signing the deal in the presence of her Croatian counterpart, and alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

In May, Plenkovic had said Croatia would buy 12 French Dassault Rafale fighter jets to modernise its air force in a deal worth €1 billion.

Croatia joined NATO in 2009 and the European Union in 2013. Its air force has a single squadron of obsolete Russian-made MiG-21 jets dating from the period of the former Yugoslavia, of which only four are believed to be operational.

Image: Dassault Aviation.

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