But more expensive and higher cost which means whether Croatia can really support such procurement in long run? Plus 12 of them seems not enough to cover all their operation needs.
the 12 are more than enough to prevent an invasion from NATO ally Hungary which has 12 Gripens, NATO ally Slovenia which has 9 propeller Pilatus aircraft. Non-NATO ally Bosnia which has no fixed wing aircraft or even Serbia with its 9 MiG 29's which are 40 years old. I think this makes them an airforce superpower in the neighbourhood.