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Ambassador hopes Croatia will choose U.S. F-16 jets for its air force

ZAGREB, Sept 29 (Hina) – US Ambassador to Croatia, Robert Kohorst, said on Tuesday that F-16 aircraft were the best fighter jets in the world, and expressed hope that Croatia would choose the U.S. bid when deciding on the procurement of the aircraft for its defence forces.

We think that F-16 is a great choice for Croatia, we hope that it will opt for them, the U.S. diplomat told the press during his visit to the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture in Zagreb where students and researchers have an opportunity to have a test drive in an F-16 simulator until Thursday.

“It is important for students and researchers to have access to this technology,” Professor Zdravko Terze said on that occasion.

Croatia plans to purchase 12 fighter jets, and the interdepartmental commission on the purchase of military aircraft will recommend the best bid by December 12.

Among the bidders is the United States with the new F-16 jets and Sweden with new Gripen jets. Among the bids are also used European-made jets from France and Italy, the Rafal and the Eurofighter.

Kohorst said that the new F-16 would be more expensive but they would provide higher value, too. They will be in use for a longer time, and they will need less maintenance, the diplomat said.

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo is due to stop in Croatia this week as part of his European tour.

He will be welcomed by Croatia’s top officials in Dubrovnik on Friday.

Kohorst confirmed that one of the topics on the agenda would the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, and Croatia is very close to agreeing with the USA on the abolishment of visas for the Croatians travelling to that country.

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