The Croatian Air Power will substitute the MiG-21 with the brand new Dassault Rafale.
At round 13:00 native time (12:00 UTC) on Dec. 5, 2022, a flight of 5 MiG-21s of the Croatian Air Power took off for routine army exercise (coaching flights) from Pleso (Zagreb Airport), the place all of the Fishbed assigned to the 91st Air Power Base are primarily based.
The plane had deliberate a sortie inside LDTR1 and LDTR2, two coaching areas often used for the MiG-21 coaching actions.
Nonetheless, at 13:44LT, the pilots aboard a two-seater MiG-21UMD Mongol, registration 164, skilled engine points and declared an emergency. At 13:48 each pilots efficiently ejected whereas the plane crashed close to Slatina, to the east of Zagreb, not removed from the northeastern border with Hungary.
Inside half-hour of the crash, two helicopters (together with at the least one Mil Mi-17) had been scrambled for a SAR (Search And Rescue) mission. The 2 parachutes had been noticed at 15:28LT and by 16:25LT, each pilots had been on their method to Zagreb on board the rescue helicopters.
They had been later recognized as Colonel Zvonimir Milatović and Main Ivan Lukan. Each pilots had been injured within the incident, however reportedly in secure situation whereas being transported to hospital for examination.
Till right this moment, Croatia operated a fleet of 12x MiG-21, six of these airworthy and the remaining used for spare components. The Croatian Air Power is predicted to obtain its first 4x Rafale F3R in late 2023/early 2024 (out of 12 complete) as alternative for the ageing MiG-21s. Regardless of right this moment’s incident, the fleet of ageing jets won’t be grounded.
H/T to Matej Bučarić for offering a lot of the particulars about this incident that you could find on this story!