Croatia is demanding that the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine replace four faulty MiG-21 aircraft that were purchased in Ukraine, reports the publication Jutarnji Vijesti citing its own sources.
“Croatia wants to return four defective MiG-21 military aircraft to Ukraine, and is asking the Ukrainian Defense Ministry to replace them with four airplanes that work properly and to provide a guarantee along with the aircraft,” the publication reported.
Aircraft 131, 132, 134 and 135 were purchased by Croatia in Ukraine as part of the overhaul and purchase of combat squadrons, and three and a half years after the planes were delivered, the Croatian Air Force said that they were not able to be used.
It was reported that the Croatian Ministry of Defense sent an official message to Ukraine last week. Zagreb demanded that new aircraft be provided in return for the poorly maintained ones it received in 2014. The contract for the repair and purchase of the used aircraft assumed that the fighters would last another 10 years - until 2023 - but the Croatian Air Force said that, after just a few years, the planes are unfit to fly. They leak oil, the fuel tanks leak, and the onboard navigation systems don’t work. A recent flight nearly ended with the crew being killed; despite the failure of the technical systems, Croatian pilots were able to land the plane.