Croatian Air Force Bids Farewell To The Iconic MiG-21, Welcomes The Rafale | Aviation

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The MiG-21bis (116) during its air display at Zagreb Franjo Tuđman airport (All images, credit: Author)

Last weekend, the Croatian Air Force organized an airshow at Zagreb airport to celebrate the retirement of the MiG-21 Fishbed and the arrival of its replacement, the Dassault Rafale.

On May 11, 2024, Zagreb Franjo Tuđman airport hosted AirVG (VG stands for Velika Gorica, as the airport covers an area located in the territory of the city), an air show that attracted many aviation enthusiasts from all over Europe since it featured the last public appearance of the Croatian MiG-21s before their retirement.

The static display showcased all the aerial assets currently in service with the Croatian Air Force, with the exception of the aerial firefighting fleet.

A single seater Rafale F-3R (nr. 153) was parked on the apron near two historical MiGs. The first six French fighters landed in Zagreb on April 25, 2024, while the other six second-hand ordered aircraft should arrive before the end of the year. The Rafale was fitted with two RPL 741 auxiliary fuel tanks with a capacity of 2000 L each.

The MiG-21UM “Kockica” (165) is a special color painted in red and white fields of the checkerboard of the Croatian coat of arms. The aircraft is not airworthy and is stored in the military part of Zagreb airport.

The other historical plane was a MiG-21R…


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