Croatia Wants To Buy Short Range Air Defense Missile System From France

Croatia Wants To Buy Short Range Air Defense Missile System From France
Croatia Wants To Buy Short Range Air Defense Missile System From France

Zagreb - Croatia is engaged in talks with France regarding the purchase of short-range air defense missile systems as part of its national defense strategy, Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banozic said on October 13.

Earlier in the day, Banozic took part in a meeting of 14 NATO defense ministers in Brussels. The minister said that on the German initiative, supported by the 14 member countries of the Alliance, arming the participating countries with the Arrow 3 or Patriot air defense systems is being prepared as part of the European Sky Shield Initiative.

Read Also: 15 European Countries Agree To Build A Joint Air And Missile Defense System

Banozic noted that Croatia was delaying its participation, having already negotiated with France on a short-range air defense system, without specifying the type. “After the drone crashed in Zagreb in March this year, we identified air defense as a priority. First of all, the short-range system, and in bilateral conversations with France, we have provided resource materials on battery level one, and our aim is to provide five batteries in a short period of time," the minister said. It was also added that mastery of medium and long range air defense systems was also on the next agenda.

In terms of air defense system negotiations that haven't been mentioned yet, the missile, allegedly Thales' Crotale, may be a relevant option. Even more, considering that France will be sending radars and air defense systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks as President Emmanuel Macron stated in an interview on Wednesday, 12 October.

The president did not specify the type or number, but Reuters identified them as short-range Crotale anti-aircraft missiles. The system is capable of shooting down low-flying missiles and manned and unmanned aircraft, with a range of up to 15 km. In addition to air defense missiles, in November 2021, Zagreb concluded an agreement with France to supply 12 Rafale fighter jets worth nearly 1 billion dollars.

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