The first Croatian Air Force (Hrvatsko ratno zrakoplovstvo i protuzračna obrana) Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 BIS-D has returned home after its overhaul in Odesa in Ukraine.
The fighter jet arrived at Zagreb-Pleso Airbase divided over two trucks in the afternoon of 12 April 2014. A team of 11 Ukrainian technicians will start reassembling the aircraft together with Croatian staff on 15 April.
A second overhauled MiG-21 BIS is expected back from Ukraine somewhere in the middle of this week, while three more Fishbeds – as NATO calls them – are being prepared for transport.
Test flights on the first MiG-21 UMD two-seater were completed last week. This aircraft will now first go to the paint shop for its high-visibility red and white special paint scheme the type has sported before in Croatian service.
Croatia is letting 12 of its MiG-21s be overhauled in Odesa. The recent crisis between Ukraine and Russia caused some debate whether Zagreb was going to get back its fighter aircraft. But with five of the dozen either home or on their way to Croatia there seems to be less reason to worry.
Source: Ministarstvo obrane RH (Croatian MoD) with additional reporting by AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger