Minister Denies Hidden Costs in Failed F-16 Jets Purchase

By 11 February 2019

ZAGREB, February 11, 2019 - Defence Minister Damir Krstičević said on Monday, when asked about hidden costs for the procurement of F-16 jets from Israel, that he "said everything there was to say on that" and that he expected a well-argued debate in parliament on the government's work due to the failed procurement.

He was responding to questions from the press, who asked if there were additional hidden costs for the procurement of the F-16s after the Defence Ministry published that 400,000 kuna was spent on a Croatian delegation's trips to Israel and that 190,000 kuna was paid to the Deloitte consulting company.

Krstičević also commented on a patrol boat project. "All strategically important projects of the Croatian army are being implemented. The patrol boat project was four years late. In the end, we received the boat and the navy is currently examining the boat."

Asked about business people's suggestion about the establishment of a centre for the research of new material and development of new equipment, Krstičević said, "We recently established a combat leader centre and a centre for unmanned aerial systems, and a cyber space command is also being planned because the Croatian army, aside from land, sea and air, wants to systematically enter cyber space."

"It's therefore important that we establish a department which will systematically do research and development. This year we will establish an organisation or a body which the Croatian army needs and which will be in touch with domestic military equipment manufacturers," he said.

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