Fighter Jets Sale to Croatia Officially Canceled

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) -

Croatia’s government has formally canceled a $500 million deal to buy 12 used fighter jets from Israel after it collapsed over U.S. objections.

The state broadcaster says the government made the decision at Monday’s session.

Israel and Croatia reached a tentative deal in March for the sale of the upgraded F-16 Barak fighter planes, pending U.S. approval to allow the American-made technology to be purchased by a third party.

The deal ran into trouble after Washington said Israel needed to strip off upgrades that were added after Israel took delivery of the aircraft from the United States some 30 years ago.

The sophisticated electronics and radar systems were crucial in Croatia’s decision to buy the F-16s from Israel instead of from the U.S. or Greece, which also bid for the contract.