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Gripen Prospects Brighten as Croatia Threatens Israeli Used F-16 Deal Cancellation

Prospects of Saab to sell Gripen fighter jets to Croatia have increased as Zagreb has threatened to cancel its deal to buy 12 used F-16s from Israel if the the latter does not confirm the status of the deal within a week.


Gripen had earlier been rejected in favor of the used Israeli F-16s but with the United States administration blocking the sale of the jets, Zagreb may have no choice but to go with Saab's offer of new jets combined with a liberal financing package.


“Croatia needed an answer from Israel by Jan. 11 or the Balkan country’s $500 million order for a dozen F-16 aircraft would be canceled,” Croatia’s Defense Ministry stated Thursday.


The United States administration reportedly blocked the deal between Israel and Croatia after outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis rejected a request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the sale of 12 F-16 fighter jets.


Trump was upset with the modification of the aircraft by Israel that has led to Croatia accept the Israeli offer, Voice of Croatia had reported on December 11, 2018.


The US embassy in Croatia has issued a statement that the nation strongly supports Croatia in its desire to modernize its air force and to be interoperable with allies in NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

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