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ARIE EGOZI

Further efforts are underway to solve the problem that undermined a deal to sell used Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16s to Croatia last year after a very senior defence source said that talks about the frozen deal have been resumed on a low profile basis: “At this stage, middle men are talking with all the relevant parties to pave the way for a new round of negotiations” the source said.

Last year, Israel offered, and began negotiations with, Croatia, over a deal that included the sale of upgraded F-16Cs which were phased out of IAF service. However, in the very advanced stages of this negotiation, intended to replace the Croatian Air Force’s MIG 21s, Washington vetoed the deal claiming that it had not been notified about the details of the contract and demanded all Israeli systems installed in the aircraft be removed.

Israel has offered 12 F-16C (BARAK) aircraft in a deal estimated to be valued at US$500m, with the F-16 ACE upgrade being performed by Israel aerospace industries (IAI) in cooperation with other Israeli industries. The F-16 ACE version is equipped with the IAI/ELTA EL/M-2032 Fire Control Radar, an advanced model with Synthetic Aperture Radar modes offering air-to-air and air-to-ground performance. Targets and relevant data are displayed onto the F-16 ACE’s three 5″x7″ colour displays while the upgrade package also includes the ELBIT systems Helmet Mounted Display system and the aircraft can also be equipped with a variety of weapon systems and sensors.