WARSAW, Poland — Croatia’s Ministry of Defence has shortlisted two offers in its tender to purchase 18 fighter jets for the country’s Air Force. These include Israel’s offer to supply the F-16D Barak aircraft and Sweden’s bid to deliver JAS 39 Gripen fighters, a senior government source told local broadcaster RTL Televizija.

The Croatian ministry said last month it received four offers, including bids submitted by the U.S., Israel, Sweden and Greece. The latest development means that the American and Greek offers to supply new or secondhand Lockheed Martin F-16s were discarded.

The Croatian government has been mulling plans to purchase new or secondhand Lockheed Martin F-16s, offered by the U.S., Israel and Greece, or buy Saab JAS 39 Gripens from Sweden. The ministry is expected to make a final decision this year.

The unnamed government official said that new F-16s, with a price tag of about $120 million per aircraft, were evaluated as too expensive by the Croatian government. The planned acquisition is estimated to be worth between €500 million (U.S. $596 million) and €1 billion.

Croatia plans to replace its outdated, Soviet-designed Mikoyan MiG-21 fighter jets with new aircraft. The first jets are to be delivered to the country’s Air Force by late 2020.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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