Responding to recent allegations in the local media, Croatia's Defence Minister, Mario Banozic, assured the public on Wednesday that the country's ongoing procurement of fighter jets has not been postponed. State agency Hina reported that Banozic added that "it is not an option for the Croatian airspace to be guarded by foreigners."
“We still have our MiGs whose lifespan expires in 2024. I deeply hope that by that time we will resolve our situation regarding the multipurpose fighter aircraft,” Banozic said after a ceremonial presentation of new ambulance vehicles delivered to the army in Zagreb.
Until then, he added, the Croatian Air Force will “continue guarding the Croatian skies as it has done over the past 30 years.”
Banozic clarified that although it had been planned “to make a political decision” on the procurement of military planes in early January, the December earthquake in which hit central Croatia has forced the government to focus on disaster relief efforts.
“We are waiting for a better moment to publicly present what the evaluation study has revealed, and our plan is to make that decision this year,” Banozic explained