Another round of efforts is underway to solve the problem that undermined a deal to sell used Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16s to Croatia last year. “At this stage middle men are talking with all the relevant parties to pave the way for a new round of negotiations,” a very senior defence source said. During 2019, 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 to replace the Croatian Air Force’s MIG 21s. However, at a very advanced stage of the negotiation, Washington vetoed the deal (estimated at US$500m for 12 aircraft), claiming that it has not been notified about the details of the contract and demanded all the Israeli systems installed in the aircraft be removed.
The F-16 ACE version is equipped with the IAI/Elta EL/M-2032 Fire Control Radar which has SAR modes, offering air-to-air and air-to-ground performance, with the upgrade due to be performed by Israel aerospace industries (IAI) in cooperation with some other Israeli industries. The upgrade package also includes the Elbit systems Helmet Mounted Display system, though targets and relevant data are also displayed on the F-16 ACE’s three 5″x7″ colour displays.
The F-16 ACE can be equipped with a variety of weapon systems and sensors including, if the deal goes through, some Israeli systems such as the Rafael PYTHON-5 air-to-air missile.