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Croatian Army

Croatian Army
Hrvatska vojska
Seal of Croatian Army.png
Emblem of the Croatian Army
Active1991–present
CountryCroatia
TypeArmy
Size15,894 personnel As of 2016[1]
Part ofRepublic of Croatia Armed Forces
H/QKarlovac
Motto(s)"Domovini vjerni"
(Faithful to Homeland)
MarchMi smo garda hrvatska
(We are the Croatian guard)
Anniversaries28 May
Equipment78 x MBT[2]
623 x IFV & APC
350 x artillery pieces, mortars
EngagementsCroatian War of Independence:

Bosnian War:

War in Afghanistan
War in Iraq
Commanders
Current
commander
Brigadier general Siniša Jurković
Notable
commanders
General Martin Špegelj, General Janko Bobetko, General Petar Stipetić, General Zvonimir Červenko, Lieutenant General Ante Gotovina, Lieutenant General Marijan Mareković, Lieutenant General Mladen Kruljac

The Croatian Army (Croatian: Hrvatska vojska or HV) and Croatian Ground Army (Croatian: Hrvatska kopnena vojska or HKoV) is the largest and most significant component of the Croatian Armed Forces (CAF).

Role and deployment

The fundamental role and purpose of the Croatian Army is to protect vital national interests of the Republic of Croatia and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state.

The Croatian Army's primary tasks are to:[3]

  • Defend against possible aggression at strategic operational levels and to defend against any land, air, or amphibious assault, in co-operation with the other branches of the CAF.
  • Help allies and friendly countries in time of need.
  • Build the capability to carry out non-traditional tasks such as humanitarian support during floods, fires, and other natural disasters.

Recent and current operations

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

The Croatian Army has contributed to the following NATO missions:

  • NATO EFP Battlegroups (Lithuania & Poland) - 2017
  • Operation Resolute Support (Afghanistan) - since 2015
  • NATO International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) (Afghanistan) - from 2003-2014

United Nations (UN)

The Croatian Army was involved in the following UN missions as of December 2017:

  • UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO): seven military observers
  • UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL): one staff officer
  • UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP): nine military observers

In the past, the Croatian Army has also contributed to:

History

The Croatian Army was formed in the Croatian War of Independence, when, on November 3, 1991, the Croatian National Guard was renamed the Croatian Army.

Numerous Croatian army units arose from the Croatian National Guard, including:

The locally based regiments were named the Home Guard Regiments (Domobranska pukovnija). They were created on 24 December 1991, during the war, and ceased to exist in a 2003 reorganization.[4]

Croatian Army is located in Croatia
Croatian army locations
Key: red – mech, gold – armoured

Organizational structure and status

The Croatian Army is an all-volunteer force numbering 7,514 active duty personnel and 193 civil servants and employees as of August 2016.[1] The Army can also call on 6,000 reserve personnel who serve up to 30 days every year.

Croatian Army Master Sgt.(right) discusses patrol routes with a Czech Army Sgt. (left) in Germany to prepare for Afghanistan, 2012

The Croatian Army is being reorganized to fit in the NATO doctrine of a small, highly capable force with an emphasis on mobility and versatility.

Major combatant commands of the Croatian Army are one armored and one mechanized brigade, each brigade having a specific role and different responsibilities. In 2012, one motorized infantry company is to be detached and put under the command of the EU Battle Group led by Germany. Croatia continues to deploy 350 personnel in support of NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Croatia achieved NATO membership in April 2009. The defence reforms that Croatia initiated in 2000 have a long-term goal of replacing and modernizing the armed forces to meet the challenges of NATO membership. The plan calls for the modernization of the Army and the introduction of training and doctrine in line with Western (NATO) standards. Replacing ex-Yugoslav/Soviet hardware is also one of the main priorities.

There are various ongoing initiatives, such as the upgrade of the tank fleet, introduction of new Armored Personnel Carriers and NATO standard assault rifles, etc. Procurement of new, NATO-compatible equipment takes a significant part of the defense budget.

Until less than a decade ago, Croatia had operated just under 280 main battle tanks, but this number decreased significantly due to the withdrawal of roughly 200 obsolete T-55 tanks in 2006. Most of these units have been scrapped, but a limited number have been stored as operational reserve in case of need. The mainstay now are the M-84A4 Sniper main battle tanks which are currently undergoing overhauls. However, modernization of the tank fleet to the M-84D standard is also envisaged.

In July 2007 Patria AMV won the contract to supply the next generation of APCs to the Croatian Army. Only 84 vehicles were ordered at first with an additional 42 purchased in an extended contract signed in December 2008. Croatia now operates 126 units with the first six vehicles manufactured in Finland and delivered by late 2008. All remaining vehicles have been locally produced by 2014. Out of a total of 126 units, 112 are armed with 12,7 Protector (RWS) remote controlled stations.

In early 2007, Croatia bought 10 Iveco LMV light armoured vehicles at a cost of 330,000 Euros per unit. According to official documents, 94 of these vehicles were needed by 2017. However, Croatia now relies on over 200 US-donated HMMWV and MRAP type vehicles.

Steps have been made to standardize the difficult-to-maintain vehicle inventory of the Croatian military, which is full of various models of different origin, type and age. Starting with 2005, the Army bought 152 light trucks and vehicles, 156 in 2006 with an additional 170 obtained by the end of 2007. All vehicles are from prominent European or Japanese manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Iveco, MAN, Toyota and Nissan. These purchases are an ongoing process seen as roughly 150-180 new terrain vehicles are procured annually.

The Croatian Army is introducing a new assault rifle in 5.56mm NATO caliber to replace large stocks of AK-47 and its derivatives. The chosen model is the locally manufactured VHS developed by HS Produkt. The initial batch of 1,000 rifles was ordered in 2009–2010 with the requirement for up to 20,000 rifles. The MoD press and photo releases from regular training activities indicate that the VHS had been issued to elements of the Military Intelligence Battalion, Combat Swimmer Detachment of the Special Forces Battalion, as well as to one of the infantry companies of the Guards Mechanized Brigade as early as 2011.

Order of battle

Current structure of the Croatian Army
  • Land Forces Command (Karlovac)[5]
    • Armored Guard Brigade (Vinkovci)
      • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
      • 1st Tank Battalion "Kune" (Gašinci)
      • 2nd Armoured Battalion
      • 3rd Mechanized Battalion "Sokolovi" (Našice/Vinkovci)
      • 4th Mechanized Battalion "Pume" (Našice/Vinkovci)
      • Mixed Artillery Battalion (Bjelovar)
      • Air Defence Battalion (Vinkovci)
      • Engineer Battalion (Vinkovci)
      • Reconnaissance Company (Vinkovci)
      • Signals Company (Vinkovci)
      • Logistics Company (Vinkovci)
    • Mechanized Guard Brigade (Knin)
      • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
      • 1st Mechanized Battalion "Tigrovi" (Petrinja)
      • 2nd Mechanized Battalion "Gromovi" (Petrinja)
      • 3rd Mechanized Battalion "Pauci" (Knin)
      • Motorized Battalion "Vukovi" (Gospić)
      • Mixed Artillery Battalion (Karlovac/Slunj)
      • Air Defence Battalion (Benkovac)
      • Engineer Battalion (Sinj)
      • Reconnaissance Company
      • Signals Company
      • Logistics Company
    • Training and Doctrine Command "Fran Krsto Frankopan" (Osijek)
      • Infantry Regiment (Petrinja)
      • Artillery Regiment (Bjelovar)
      • Engineer Regiment (Karlovac)
      • Logistics Regiment (Benkovac)
      • Basic Training Centre (Požega)
      • Combat Training Center (Slunj)
      • Simulation Center (Zagreb)
    • Military Police Regiment (Ogulin/Karlovac)
    • Signals Regiment (Karlovac)
    • Military Intelligence Battalion (Zagreb)
    • NBC Defence Battalion (Dugo Selo)
    • Special Operations Forces Command (Delnice)
    • Air Defence Regiment (Donji)
      • Command Battery (Zemunik)
      • 1st Mixed Battalion (Zemunik)
      • 2nd Mixed Battalion (Udbina)
      • 3rd Mixed Battalion (Zagreb)
    • Signals Battalion (Velika Gorica)
    • International Operations Training Center (Rakitje)

Operational art and tactical doctrine

Building on NATO's Partnership for Peace assistance programmes and full NATO membership since 2009, the Croatian Army has embraced the alliance concepts of the 24-hour, three-dimensional battlefield and the employment of highly trained and motivated forces equipped to deploy rapidly and operate with flexibility as part of a larger multinational force.[6]

The Croatian Army is also working more closely with the air force and navy, resulting in more multi-phased operations with detailed ground/air co-ordination, but more needs to be done at all echelons to achieve a deeper level of jointness. In all of these activities, the land forces are in the lead.[7]

Modernization plans

Croatian soldier with a VHS assault rifle
Soldiers take cover beside a Patria AMV
Panzerhaubitze 2000 on 2015 military parade

In past decade or so, Croatian Army underwent significant changes, modernization of the armed forces albeit at the much slower pace then anticipated due to economic recession at the start of this decade, caused realignment of Croatia's priorities, Croatia's military subsequently faced significant cutbacks and reduction in expenditure or purchase of new armaments. However, as a result of NATO membership, Croatia agreed to fulfill some of the operational responsibilities towards NATO, this includes formation of two mechanized brigades, with emphasis on equipping both brigades with NATO standard equipment.

Procurement of heavy weapons is still lagging behind due to shortage of funding for the armed forces, however donations by US Armed Forces have helped Croatia to gap some of the shortfalls. Purchase of 126 Patria AMV APCs allowed for light mechanized brigade to replace old Yugoslav and Soviet era weapon systems that saw little use with in NATO. However, Heavy Mechanized brigade still relies heavily on Soviet and Yugoslav era weapon systems and modernization of that brigade is one of the priorities for current government. Equipping the brigade with modern Infantry Fighting Vehicle such as CV-90 or Puma, would go long way in fulfilling that task, however Bradley M2 and other western IFV combinations are also being considered. Modernization of Croatia's M-84 Main Battle Tank due to significant costs but also lack of interoperability within NATO has been dropped and alternatives are being sought, Leopard 2 most likely being the only choice for the armed forces, however lack of funding ensures this remains only a distant dream at this stage.

Current plans call for establishment of a 3rd mechanized battalion with in Heavy Mechanized Brigade due to NATO requirement for such unit. 60 Additional Patria AMV will be ordered to fulfill requirements for Heavy Mechanized Brigade, additional PzH 2000 howitzers are likely to be purchased from Germany to meet the NATO requirement for a 2nd Armoured Battalion. Additional light mine protected vehicles to be sought from US, to meet the NATO requirements for ISTAR capability and number of drones and UAVs to be purchased as part of this capability. Army will try to update its current logistic's requirement with a purchase of up to 500 new military trucks, 300 light off-road vehicles and number of other support vehicles. This is likely to take at least a decade due to shortage of funds. Purchase of 30mm RCWS is a priority, 16 of which are already on order, requirement calls for 64 RCWS, this also includes purchase of modern anti tank system for the armed forces to replace current Soviet era systems that are nearing their use date. Army also plans to purchase modern western medium range Surface to air system, with NASAM 2 being the most likely choice, however shortage of funds might delay the purchase until late 2020s.

The budget should slowly increase due to NATO requirement for all its members to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence. Croatia plans to meet that target by around 2025, by which point Croatian economy is expected to reach around 550 billion kuna or just under $90 billion at current exchange rate. With more funds it is hopped Croatia could modernize most of its armed forces to NATO standard without US assistance by this point. Currently US has aided Croatian Armed Forces modernization and training in tune of around €120 million per year since 2015 and is expected to increase these slightly in coming years as Croatia is about to purchase 16 brand new army helicopters, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk being favorite and number of other systems.

Other programs:

  • Equipping motorized infantry battalion (800-1,000 men) with night vision equipment, including advanced optoelectronics and sensors, ground radars, thermal imaging cameras – 120 million Croatian Kuna
  • NBC equipment for biological/chemical-decontamination unit – 150 million Croatian Kuna
  • Procurement of new army engineering vehicles, armored recovery vehicles, mine clearance vehicles and armored personal vehicles designed to withstand mine blasts – 320 million Croatian Kuna
  • Procurement of modern communication and battlefield management systems –
  • Procurement of new logistic and amphibious vehicles – 250 million Croatian Kuna
  • Procurement of 3-4 Artillery Radars – 30–40 million Croatian Kuna
  • Procurement of 8-12 Mobile air defense radars – 200–300 million Croatian Kuna
  • Procurement of Army Field Hospital - 80-100 million Croatian Kuna
  • Procurement of 16 Army Tank transporters, Heavy Equipment Transporters – 80–100 million Croatian Kuna
  • Procurement of Bridge laying equipment – 100 million Croatian Kuna

Equipment

Handguns

The Croatian Army's requirement for personal protection side arms is being fulfilled by the locally produced HS2000 hand gun design, which has also become increasingly popular in the United States and elsewhere.

Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
HS Produkt HS 2000 HS2000.png 9×19mm  Croatia 40,000 standard sidearm
HS XDM[8] HS2000.png 9×19mm  Croatia 20,000 standard sidearm

Submachine guns

Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
H&K MP5[9] MP5.png 9×19mm  Germany 80-100 Used by special forces and anti terrorist police
ERO[9] UZI Submachine Gun (7414624230).jpg 9×19mm  Israel/ Croatia ~500 Unlicensed copy of the IMI Uzi submachine gun. Used by special forces and anti terrorist police

Assault rifles

The Croatian Army's current 2 standard assault rifles are the VHS and VHS2. The VHS's family of assault rifles replaced M70 entirely in 2015. Croatian peacekeepers and serviceman who serve on NATO/EU missions tend to be supplied with the German-made H&K G36C rifle and, to a lesser extent, the US Colt M4 carbine.

The Croatian Army inherited large quantities of Yugoslav Army light infantry weaponry, much of it captured during the Battle of the Barracks. These were supplemented by indigenous designs, some of which were very successful and found export markets. During the 1990s, these were perfectly acceptable light infantry weapons; however, with Croatia's entry into NATO, many older Yugoslav-era designs were seen as redundant and surplus to the requirement. Croatia has acquired a substantial quantity of Sako TRG 42 sniper rifles with the aim of equipping the current army (around 7 infantry battalions) with 32 Sako TRG 42 sniper rifles per battalion. Additional equipment, such as optics and grenade launchers, were also obtained from domestic and German suppliers. Machine guns inherited from the Yugoslav era are also being supplemented by a large number of western models, namely FN MAG, Ultimax 100, M249 light machine gun and, contentiously, an ever-growing quantity of M2 Browning machine guns (of which Croatia had some 570 examples at the end of 2010, but numbers are likely to grow to well over 800 by 2020 due to number of new armored vehicles being armed with remote overhead weapon stations.

As of late 2017, Croatian Army maintains over 15000 VHS/VHS2 assault rifles in service, of these more than half are newer model HSP VHS-2, with ground forces transitioning to only HSP VHS-2 with in next few years. Army will retain original VHS-1 rifles in reserve, however Army plans to order up to 50 000 HSP VHS-2 rifles.

Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
HS Produkt VHS/VHS2 HS VHS.png 5.56×45mm  Croatia 7800 VHS1; ~12500 VHS2 Around 3000 rifles in service as of early 2013, with additional 1580~ acquired under original 2008 contract,[10] 500 VHS1 Rifles intended for Croatian Army sold to US DOD.[11][12][13] Army Order for 300 VHS 2 Rifles made with future order for 20 000 VHS 2 agreed. VHS2 Rifles to replace VHS 1 which will be relegated in to reserve status.[14]
H&K G36C[15] G36.png 5.56×45mm  Germany 750 Used by peacekeepers, special Forces and Ministry of the Interior, additional 200 acquired for MUP for total of 750.
Heckler & Koch HK416 HK416N.png 5.56×45mm  Germany 550[16] Used by peacekeepers, ISFOR and Special Forces in Croatia. New order for 250 Heckler & Koch HK416 and 100 Heckler & Koch HK417 for delivery in 2018.
Colt M4[15] M4SOPMOD.png 5.56×45mm  United States 200 Used by peacekeepers and the special forces[17]
FN F2000 F2000.png 5.56×45mm  Belgium 100 Bought for evaluation but not adopted, currently in limited use
Zastava M70 M70.png 7.62×39mm  Yugoslavia 640 Around 88,000 stored and offered for sale, 44,000 sold to Afghanistan in 2010, 4000 donated to Mali in 2013,[18] some 6000 rifles sold to Syrian Rebels via Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Completely withdrawn from use by the end of 2015, however some 640~ left for use in opfor training..[19][20]

Sniper rifles

Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
Sako TRG-42 TRG42.png 8.6×70mm  Finland 240 standard sniper rifle of Croatian Army replacing older models.
Heckler & Koch HK417 H&K HK417 silhouette.svg 7.62×51mm  Germany 150~ standard light Assaulter sniper rifle of Croatian Army, used as designated marksman rifle with in Croatian Army. More to be acquired.
Remington M40A5 M40.png 7.62×51mm  United States 70~ 100~ older A1 models being phased out, with few remaining for familiarization and training.[21]
Barrett M82 M82Barret.png 12.7×99mm  United States 24~ anti-materiel rifle, a dozen or so kept in reserve status.
MACS M3 MACSM3.png 12.7×99mm  Croatia 20~ standard high caliber sniper rifle, supplements Sako TRG.
RT-20 RT20.png 20×110mm  Croatia ~3-4 anti-materiel rifle only few samples in service

Grenade launchers

Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
RBG-6 RBG6.png 40×46mm  Croatia 124 112 with Croatian Army and 12 with special forces and anti terrorist units.[22][23]
H&K AG36 AG36.png 40×46mm  Germany 300 Comes as standard with all H&K G36C deployed in ISAF and other NATO/EU missions.
Mk 19 grenade launcher MK19.png 40×53mm  United States 92+ [24] For the first time seen in the public at recent Military parade held in Zagreb, 32 weapons purchased for 4.8 million kuna. Mounted on to MATV and M1151 Up-Armored Capable HMMWV vehicles. More to be purchased, requirement calls for 224 weapon systems.[25][26][27]

Machine guns

Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
Browning M2 BrowningM2.png 12.7×99mm  United States 700+ Mostly mounted on armoured vehicles and tanks, including as remote weapon stations, of which 120+ are in use with the Croatian Army. More to be acquired,
FN MAG FNMAG.png 7.62×51mm  Belgium 400+ number purchased for new light armored vehicles and infantry mobility vehicles armored
FN M249 M249.png 5.56×45mm  Belgium 100+ More to be acquired.[28]
Ultimax 100 Ultimax100.png 5.56×45mm  Singapore 100 Acquired in mid 1990s, just after the Homeland War.
Heckler & Koch HK21 HK 21 LMG LEFT SIDE.jpg 5.56×45mm  Germany 300 Acquired in late 1990s, supplements FN M249[29]

Tanks

On April 24, 2013 the Defence Minister signed a memorandum with Đuro Đaković – Specijalna vozila for the upkeep, maintenance and modernization of the M-84 fleet (48 tanks) with the aim to improve the serviceability of the fleet.[30] According to current plans only 4 tanks are to be fully overhauled at cost of $1.8 million or $450,000 per tank with potential for further 44 tanks to be fully overhauled by late 2020 at cost of $20 million or 110 million Kuna.

Long-term plans regarding the future role of M-84 tanks in Croatian Army is to be defined by MOD. The new proposed defence white paper envisages only a fleet of 48 tanks.[31] Public consultation is being held as to what direction will be taken in regards to current tank fleet, purchuse of new western tanks or further modernization to A5 standard.

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
M-84A4 Sniper M-84A4Snajper MBT  Yugoslavia 72 All M-84A tanks brought to this standard by 2008 and are awaiting further upgrade. The fleet is undergoing limited overhaul with 4 tanks to be refurbished by the year's end at the cost of 440,000 USD per vehicle.[32] Under new proposed Defence White paper only 48 (44+4) tanks will be kept, remaining tanks either sold or put into reserve status.

Tracked vehicles

The Croatian Army relies on M-80A infantry fighting vehicles, of which there are 128 in service. These vehicles are deployed in two mechanized infantry battalions. Croatian MOD stated that the M-80 will be replaced at some point in the future and that there are no plans to modernize these vehicles. Due to increased defence expenditure, Croatian Government is considering a purchase of new infantry fighting vehicles, although previous SDP government was looking at Marder 1a3[33] as an interim solution. Current government is keen on brand new vehicle, however due to lack of funds options are limited. One of temporary measures Government is considering is purchase of Bradley M2 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) from US, under deal offered by US, Croatia would receive up to 64 Bradley M2 ODS and additional 24 M2s as spares, with Croatian Government responsible for upgrade and overhaul of said vehicles. as vehicles in question are a donation, Croatian government paying only for overhaul and VAT. It is not clear if these vehicles are a temporary measure until funds become available for purchase of modern vehicles such as Puma or CV90. However, these vehicles won't replace current M80A IFVs in service, they'll just be added as a 3rd Mechanized Battalion to Medium Brigade, increasing the effectiveness of this particular combat brigade.


Model Image Type Origin Number Details
BVP M-80A BVP M 80A.jpg IFV  Yugoslavia 128 A total of 104 vehicles operational in two battalions, additional 24 converted or surplus units. Possible modernization of the fleet has been dismissed.
M2 Bradley Pi111804a1.jpg IFV  United States 60 + 24 60 vehicles (M2A2 ODS) on order, additional 24 will be used for spare parts.[34][35]

Wheeled armoured personnel vehicles

Since the purchase and equipping of 126 Patria AMV has been posing a significant financial strain on the military budget for quite some time now, the current needs of the Army are going to be met primarily by acquiring second-hand hardware from allied sources. NATO,[36] with the USA being the prime supplier of such vehicles. Previous needs for additional Patria IFVs and Iveco LMVs are now going to be met by introducing large numbers of Oshkosh M-ATVs of which 162 are to be introduced into service in 2014. Cost of the program is merely $10 million, with Croatian MOD only paying for the transport of said vehicles.[36]

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
Patria AMV Patria AMV Karlovac 2009 5.jpg APC  Finland/ Croatia 126+20 [37] All units were delivered by mid-2013 but final fitting out and equipping to be concluded no sooner than 2016. Additional 20 vehicles in IFV configuration to be ordered armed with UT30MK2 turret armed with 30mm cannon and twin Spike LR launchers. This would bring number of IFV configured Patrias to 28 and total number of Patria AMVs in Croatian Army service to 146. [37]

[12]

Iveco LMV Lako oklopno vozilo Iveco (HV).jpg IMV  Italy 14 An additional 84 vehicles were planned to enter service by 2017 but this option has been dropped due to the delivery of large quantities of M1151 Up-Armored Capable HMMWVs and similar vehicles.
M1151 Up-Armored Capable HMMWV M1151.jpg IMV  United States 93 The vehicles are mostly used by the ISAF forces in Afghanistan, but at least 13 newly built units delivered in 2012 are home-based + additional 8 delivered in 2015 for total of 21.[38] 65 M1151s and 20 M1141 vehicles in service.[39]
Oshkosh M-ATV M153 CROWS mounted on a U.S. Army M-ATV.jpg MRAP  United States 172 The initial order was made for 122 M-ATV but additional 40 units were requested and approved by US Senate.[40][41] Of 162 M-ATVs received as EDA, 15 are going to the Croatian Special Forces Command (SFCOM), 5 will be with the Support Command (SCOM), 2 with the Military Police Regiment, and 78 are to enter service with the Croatian Army in 2015, with a further 62 to follow in 2016 (equipping the 1st Battalion of the Motorized Guards Brigade in Gospic).[42] Additional 10 vehicles are still deployed in ISAF to return to Croatia in 2015 for total of 172 vehicles.[43]
International MaxxPro Navistar MaxxPro.JPG MRAP  United States 40 A total of 30 vehicles are in Croatia and additional 4 in Afghanistan. Of the 30 MaxxPro vehicles received EDA, 21 are for the Croatian Army, 5 will join SFCOM, and 2 each will go into SCOM and the Military Police Regiment. 6 MaxPro Recovery Vehicles[42][44]
RG-33 RG 33 in Iraq at FOB Normandy.JPG MRAP  South Africa 20 A total of 20 RG-33L (6x6) MRAP HAGA delivered and to enter service with SCOM during 2015.[42]

Combat engineering vehicles

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
M-84AI M-84AI hrvatska.jpg Armoured Recovery Vehicle  Yugoslavia 4 The last vehicle entered service in 2002.
T-55TZI TZI 55.jpg Armoured Recovery Vehicle  Soviet Union 4 The Croatian MoD is currently looking for a replacement.[45]
MaxxPro Recovery Vehicle M1249 military recovery vehicle debut DVIDS378055.jpg Armoured Recovery Vehicle  United States 6 Entered service in 2016.
MT-55A MT-55A hrvatska.jpg Armoured Bridge Vehicle  Czechoslovakia 2+ Additional bridge units are mounted on KrAZ 6x6 heavy trucks, currently awaiting replacement.[46]
GSP-55 self-propelled amphibious ferry GSP-55.jpg Amphibious Vehicle  Soviet Union 2 Only two operational and used with engineering unit. Awaiting replacement by modern NATO system.[47]
PTS-M PTS-M hrvatska.jpg Amphibious Vehicle  Soviet Union 4 Actively participated in transport actions during the floods of 2014.
PMS IFOR Hungarian Army truck.JPEG Pontoon Bridge  Soviet Union 4-5 All are mounted on Tatra T813 8x8 trucks. Four systems seen at the parade, serving with engineering regiment, awaiting replacement by modern NATO system.
JCB Fastrac/JCB 4CX JCB 4CX Sitemaster.jpg Digger/Loader  United Kingdom 12 Number of support and land clearing equipment purchased or donated by US.[48]
MV-4 Interpolitex 2013 (534-38).jpg Combat engineer  Croatia 4 Used for demining operations.[49]

Anti-aircraft warfare

Under the newly proposed plan, the Croatian Army is set to revive its capability of hitting targets beyond the 10 km range. Current systems in service are all short-ranged with Strijela-10CROA1 (Croatian army's only SAM systems) having a maximum range of 7 km. The purchase of new systems will be highly dependent on price and support packages, with VL Mica, Crotale, SPYDER and NASAMS 2 being among most likely choices.

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
Strijela - 10CROA1 Strijela - 10CROA1.jpg Short range air defense  Croatia 9 In 3 version.
BOV 20/3 Samovozni top BOV-3 HKoV.JPG SPAAG  Yugoslavia 44 The triple M55 20mm anti-aircraft guns mounted on a BOV APC. The systems are set to remain in service due to their secondary role as heavily armed APCs.
Bofors 40 mm L/70 L70 Bofors V i PVO VS.jpg anti-aircraft autocannon  Sweden 12 Paired to Giraffe radars.
9K38 Igla 9K338 Igla-S (NATO-Code - SA-24 Grinch).jpg MANPADS  Soviet Union 67
9K32 Strela-2M SA-7.jpg MANPADS  Soviet Union
 Yugoslavia
141 (+372)
  • Although Croatia acquired the S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile system in 1994, and demonstrated some of its parts on the 1995 military parade, it is believed that the system was never fully completed and operational although the training of crews was sought as late as 1998. Some sources claim that the weapon was subsequently handed-over to the United States or Israel in 2002–2004. However, officials still claim that the system is stored somewhere in Croatia.

Anti-tank weapons

The Croatian Army has relied heavily on Russian and domestically made anti-tank systems and rocket-propelled grenades, many of which by modern standards are obsolete or inadequate. The procurement of modern anti-tank system is being addressed and current plans call for the purchase of several dozen launchers for Patria AMVs which are to be fully integrated with 30mm license-built Kongsberg RWS. Swedish AT4 systems are viewed as the future unguided anti-tank weapon of the Army and a certain number of these has already entered service. The unguided M80s are being relegated to reserve status while the other domestically manufactured RPG weapon, RL90 M95 is set to remain in active service for some time. Spike and Javlin being main contenders for Croatian army choice of next generation anti tank missile systems replacing older soviet made systems currently in service. up to €20 million order for launchers will be made in 2017, with up to 64 launchers being delivered to army, of which up to 16 will be LR or mounted to a 30mm RWS turret developed by Kongsberg. Longer term Croatian army requirements call for 200~ launchers including infantry and vehicle mounted.[50]

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
Spike LR SPIKE ATGM.jpg anti tank missile  Israel 16 Initial purchase of 16 launchers, simulator and 200 missiles to initially equip 8 Patria AMV in Croatian army service. 28 Patria will eventually undergo similar upgrade. Currently Croatian Army has requirement for 200+ Launchers and at least 1000+ missiles to replace current stock of Soviet anti tank missiles in service with the infantry formations. However, beyond 16 launchers, no clear indication when the additional launchers might be purchased.[51][52]
9К115-2 Metis-M/9K115 Metis Antitank missile system Metis-M1.jpg wire-guided anti-tank missile  Soviet Union 54 System purchased from Russia and Ukraine in early 1990s, during the war of Croatian Independence, 54 launchers and over 300 missiles in service.
9M113 Konkurs Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Russian-Made Missile Found in Hezbollah Hands.jpg wire-guided anti-tank missile  Soviet Union 42 System purchased from Russia and Ukraine in early 1990s, during the war of Croatian Independence, 42 launchers and over 300 missiles in service.[53][54] To be replaced by Javelin or Eurospike at some point in near future.
9K111 Fagot POLK 9K111 Fagot.jpg wire-guided anti-tank missile  Soviet Union 119 300 launchers and 3000 missiles delivered in 90s, only 119 operational, the rest in reserve status. Awaiting replacement by a modern tandem warhead anti tank system.
9K11 Malyutka BOV POLO M 83.jpg wire-guided anti-tank missile  Soviet Union 216 216 modernized launchers/missiles integrated with M-83 Polo armoured vehicle with 6 launchers installed per each vehicle and with 18 vehicles deployed per each combat brigade, complete withdrawal from service by end of 2016, to be replaced by modern tandem warhead system after 2015. Javelin and EuroSpike are being considered as a replacement, with Javelin having considerable advantage due to commonality issue with Patria AMV 30mm ATGM RWS turrets.
RL90 M95 Лансер М79 Оса.jpg RPG  Yugoslavia 770 over 1500 systems available, with 770 in service deployed with 4-6 with each combat platoon. To be phased out by 2017 and kept in reserve, replaced entirely by Swedish made Carl Gustav recoilless rifle or similar western system after 2020.
AT4 AT4-johnson2004-02-03.jpg RPG  Sweden ~ The exact number of these weapons is unknown.[55]
AGM-114 Hellfire Lockheed Martin Longbow Hellfire.jpg air-to-surface missile  United States 32+ 32 on order 32 air/helicopter launchers and number of missiles where purchased as part of OH 58D purchase.[56] 32 new Hellfire missiles purchased as part of $3.2 million contract with US manufacturer. This is 2nd such purchase of same number of missiles. Croatia currently has stock of 32 missiles, with pending delivery for 32 more, requirements calls for at least 128 missiles plus number of training missiles.[57]

Artillery

With the end of the conflict in Croatia at the end of 1995 Croatia inherited large stockpile of Yugoslav era weapons systems. Decision was made to modify two battalions of D-30 HR M94 Soviet-made artillery systems to be compatible with NATO firing tables as an interim and cheap solution, with rest of the artillery stockpile kept in prepared state of reediness.

The situation is very dire, with the Croatian Army having no artillery system capable of hitting targets beyond 20 km, to avert what was a serious shortcoming the Croatian MOD placed an order for modern NATO artillery system with capability that can exceeds 20 km range requirement. According to media reports, the Croatian MOD chose to purchase 12+3 Panzerhaubitze 2000 (or one battalion) howitzers from the German Army stock for $48 million. The system ended their deliveries in 2018, and all the support infrastructure required including training and logistic and supply trucks.[58][59][60][61]

Mortars

Model Image Type Caliber Origin Number Details
M57 60mm mortar round being launch.JPG Mortar 60mm  Yugoslavia 69 1253 kept in reserve[12] mortar has effective range of 3500m with standard projectile. Mortar underwent modification to meet NATO requirements.
M96 Mortar 82mm M-69 Croatian Army.JPG Mortar 82mm  Yugoslavia 69 360 kept in reserve, improved copy of the Yugoslav M69 mortar[12] Mortar has 5600m effective range with a standard projectile, 4200m illuminating projectile and 4800m with light anti armour projectile. Mortar underwent modification to meet NATO requirements.
M75 Mortar 120 mm M-75 Croatian Army.JPG Mortar 120mm  Yugoslavia 43 201 kept in reserve[12] Mortar has 9500m effective range with a standard round projectile, and 5500m with illuminating projectile. Mortar underwent modification to meet NATO requirements.

Towed howitzers

Model Image Type Caliber Origin Number Details
75 mm M116 howitzer Topnička bitnica.jpg Howitzer 75mm  United States 12 of 57 artillery pieces only 12 are kept in active service primarily as ceremonial cannons, remaining cannons to be phased out by the end of 2015/6.
M56/M101 M101-105mm-howitzer-camp-pendleton-20050326.jpg Howitzer 105mm  Yugoslavia/ United States 48 Some are US and some Yugoslav-built under license. Some 44 kept in reserve with additional 4 used for training. Last ammunition check was conducted in October, 2015.[62]
D-30 RH M94 Artilleryman of the Afghan National Army.jpg Howitzer 122mm  Soviet Union 54 Modified Soviet D-30 howitzers brought in line with NATO commonality standards. One is in a museum and 3 loaned to NATO's Joint Multinational Training Centre in Hohenfels in Germany for extend time.[63] To be kept in service for the foreseeable future. Four units took part in the military parade in 2015.[64]
130 mm towed field gun M1954 (M-46) M-46-beyt-hatotchan-1.jpg Howitzer 130mm  Soviet Union 19 To be kept serviceable for the reserve forces. Two units took part in the military parade in 2015. Last ammunition check was conducted in October, 2015.[62]
CITER 155mm L33 Gun CITER L33 155 mm.JPG Howitzer 155mm  Argentina 18 All systems operational.[12][65]

Self-propelled howitzers

Model Image Type Caliber Origin Number Details
Panzerhaubitze 2000 Dutch Panzerhaubitz fires in Afghanistan.jpg Self-propelled howitzer 155mm  Germany 15+Simulator Ordered from German Army reserve stock, the $54 million contract for 12 (plus three for spare parts) howitzers includes modernization and upgrade to said howitzers with support equipment, spare parts and training simulator included. With delivery starting in 2015, with the first 6 to join the Croatian Army in the second half of 2015 and the remaining vehicles to be delivered after a general overhaul by the German Army in mid-2016/7.[66][67] Originally Croatia was negotiating 18 systems, but German Army will retain additional vehicles envisaged under earlier announced defence cuts thus only 12 Howitzers were offered to Croatia as part of the deal, which also included complete modernization of the system and overhaul to meet the latest NATO standards.[68] First two howitzers delivered, 13+1 simulator more to be delivered over coming 18 months[69]
2S1 Gvozdika Samohodna haubica Gvozdika.jpg Self-propelled howitzer 122mm  Soviet Union 9[12] Due to be augmented by 12 Panzerhaubitze 2000 and possibly replaced by 6 additional PzH2000 in the long term. Plan for limited modernization the system including installation of NATO compatible combat and communication equipment. 6 systems in use and 3 used as spare. To form armoured self-propelled artillery battalion.

Rocket artillery

Model Image Type Caliber Origin Number Details
RAK-12 VLR 128 mm RAK 12 M91 080810 24.jpg Towed multiple rocket launcher 128mm  Croatia 68 Some 8 systems are in active service while additional 60 are kept in reserve status.[70]
APR–40 APR-40-beyt-hatotchan-2.jpg Mobile Multiple Rocket Launcher 122mm Romania Socialist Republic of Romania 31 Ordered from Romania in 1992–1993. Replacement by modern NATO system is a priority under new defence white paper, no mention of what system would replace current Multiple launch Systems in service, talks are being held with US and German governments on possible purchase of M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (M270 MLRS), Croatian requirements call for initially 8 systems to form a two battery teams at independent Artillery regiment, with potential for further 16 systems to equip 2 active brigades for total of 24 systems + simulators and training aids. Number of systems Croatian Army might purchase will solely depend on price of the entire purchase and delivery dates, Croatian Defence budget has set aside some 200 million kuna or $32 million for this program, although it is likely said systems might be donated by the US for symbolic price in turn Croatian MOD paying only VAT for said vehicles in which case price tag might be negligible and affordable.
M-92 Vulkan[71] M92 vulkan.jpg Mobile Multiple Rocket Launcher 122mm  Yugoslavia Croatia 6 Croatian modification of a mobile multiple rocket launcher 128mm M-77 Oganj in 122mm M-92 Vulkan. The launch box and the fire system have been modified. The volcano battery (4 units) is part of the Croatian contingent in Poland (Battle Group Poland).[72]

Unmanned aerial vehicle

Croatian Army plans to purchase number of UAVs as part of ongoing modernization plans, longer term armed UAVs are also planned. Currently Army maintains number of UAV types with plans to purchase number of medium sized UAVs for maritime and border surveillance. 6 Elbit's Orbiter 3b UAVs joined the service recently, however more of the same type are likely to join in coming years.

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
Elbit Skylark Skylark 1.jpg UAV  Israel 20+ System purchased from Israel in 2000s.
Aeronautics Orbiter 3b 16 rocznica powstania GROM 17.jpg UAV  Israel 6 System purchased from Israel in 2019. The latest variant Orbiter 3b. Wingspan: 4,4m. Range: 150km, Endurance: 6 hours

Logistical transports and multitask vehicles

The logistic component of the Croatian Army is being renewed continuously and over the past decade a number of new vehicle have been procured. Stated requirement calls for 1,250 5-10 ton military trucks, 550 4WD Jeeps of all sorts and a number of other support and utility vehicles. In recent times, the Croatian MOD has signed procurement agreements with MAN, Iveco, Mercedes and Astra Iveco. Most notably in recent history was a corruption affair that resulted in the dismissal and subsequent custodial sentence for former defence minister Berislav Rončević who "approved procurement of 33 Iveco Astra Military Trucks at inflated price without holding a public procurement tender that is a standard procedure in any major defence procurement program".[73]

The Croatian MoD has since purchased a number of new military trucks and 4WD vehicles through public procurement program; the latest being a 2011 procurement of some 80 Mercedes, MAN Trucks and 120 Toyota and Nissan 4WD vehicles. Although, as of late 2012, nearly half of the Croatian Army's logistics inventory is obsolete or near obsolete and in need of a replacement.[74]

As of late 2012, the Croatian Army lacks some 400 Military trucks of all sorts. Also, many vehicles in the current stock are quite obsolete and in need of replacing. The problem is furthermore escalated by the fact that the Defence Budget for 2013 has been slashed by 250 million kuna, further reducing the probability of the Croatian Army receiving new logistic vehicles.

The Croatian Army is now looking to acquire some German Army surplus stock, in good condition and available for use; 300–400 Army trucks are needed and it is likely they will all come from German Army surplus –most of them MAN KAT1 army trucks– and other unspecified vehicles indeed.

Trucks and multiuse vehicles

Currently the army is seeking to acquire a number of 5t, 7.5t and 12.5 ton trucks. Due to a shortage of funds, purchase of brand new equipment is difficult, although the army annually receives up to several dozen brand new specialist vehicles. When possible, the army tries to obtain 2nd hand vehicles from German, or other NATO member surplus stock. The army has a requirement for 1500 trucks of all sorts, however currently it lacks at least 500 trucks and heavy goods vehicles.

Military multiuse vehicles
Model Image Type Origin Number Details
Iveco 5T Transport Truck Kamion Iveco Eurocargo - veza (HV).jpg Medium cargo truck, Cab forward  Italy 120+ initial order of 39 vehicles made in 2005 and subsequent order for additional 80 vehicles in 2008 and 2009. Currently over 120 vehicles in service.
TAM Croatian Army Truck.jpg Utility Truck, Cab forward  Slovenia / Yugoslavia 300~ large number of these trucks in various configurations still serve in many roles within Croatian Army, they're being replaced by modern models but, due to defence cutbacks, these vehicles are likely to remain in service for the foreseeable future. These vehicles are, in many cases, now over 40 years old; replacement is sought when and where possible. Number of serviceable trucks dropped due to lack of spare parts, new trucks being sought where and when possible.
Torpedo TK 130 Torpedo TK 130.jpg Utility Truck, Cab forward  Croatia 80~ large number of these trucks in various configurations still serve in many roles within Croatian Army, they're being replaced by modern models but, due to defence cutbacks, these vehicles are likely to remain in service for the foreseeable future.
MAN TG Mill TG MIL TGA 40.413 DFAS (6x6).jpg 40T Truck Tank Transporter, Cab forward  Germany 40 Initial purchase of 20 MAN TGMIL trucks in 2015, to supplement current fleet of Iveco heavy equipment transporters and replace older MAN models that were retired. In 2017, Croatian MOD bought 20 additional MAN TGMIL Trucks, to supplement its current fleet of heavy trucks.[75]
LkW MAN 5t MIL GL 4x4 Bundeswehr MAN 5to.gl.jpg 5T Troop transport, Cab forward  Germany 37 Initial purchase of 27 German Army trucks that were stored and now being refurbished for Croatian Army. In 2015, MoD bought 10 more trucks from German surpluses, in accordance with the 2013 Framework Agreement on the purchase of used trucks and containers from the surplus of the German Armed Forces.[76][77][78][79]
LkW MAN 7t MIL GL 6x6 Man elefant sst.jpg 7T Troop transport, Cab forward  Germany 5 In 2015, MoD bought 5 trucks from German surpluses, in accordance with the 2013 Framework Agreement on the purchase of used trucks and containers from the surplus of the German Armed Forces.[80]
LkW MAN 10t MIL GL 8x8 MULTI.JPG 10T Troop transport, Cab forward  Germany 5 In 2015, MoD bought 5 trucks from German surpluses, in accordance with the 2013 Framework Agreement on the purchase of used trucks and containers from the surplus of the German Armed Forces.[81]
MAN Tank Transporter Vojni kamion - labudica (ZG Praška).jpg 40T Truck Tank Transporter, Cab forward  Germany 16 16 older MAN units in service, being replaced by modern equivalent soon.
Astra Trucks 2june 2007 561.jpg Medium Utility Vehicle, Cab forward  Italy 12~ Standard utility vehicle of the Croatian Army, 33 units ordered in 2004, all delivered and in service. Iveco Trekker chosen as a heavy truck, future orders unlikely.[82]
DAF Trucks Croatian Army Truck (2).jpg 4WD/Medium Utility Vehicle, Cab forward  Netherlands 20~ Standard utility vehicle of the Croatian Army; 60 units received from the Dutch Army reserve stock in 2001, however only 20 or so remain in service.
Mercedes-Benz Actros ROCA Mobile Water Filter Truck 20120602a.jpg 6x6 and 8x8 Heavy utility vehicle, Cab forward  Germany 40 Standard heavy utility vehicle of the Croatian Army, 40 units ordered in 2010, all delivered and in service by mid-2012. Iveco chosen as preferred heavy truck over Mercedes, Scania, Volvo, Renault and MAN.

Military jeeps

Military 4WD vehicles
Model Image Type Origin Number Details
Toyota Landcruiser Toyota Landcruiser STD.jpg 4WD/Utility vehicles/Military light utility vehicle  Japan 80~ 150 Ordered in 2008 and delivered in 2010, half went to other government departments, including the Ministry of the Interior. All are in good serviceable condition; it is a standard utility vehicle in service with the Croatian Army and other governmental agencies of Croatia.
Mercedes G Vozilo Vojne policije Puch.jpg 4WD/Light utility vehicle/Military light utility vehicle  Germany 320+ Standard utility vehicle of the Croatian Army, 250 units ordered in 2002/3, all delivered and in service. An additional 74 vehicles ordered in 2008 and delivered in 2010. Further deliveries in 2015 and 2017, to replace the oldest vehicle in service.
Land Rover Wolf Defender Vojne policije HV.jpg 4WD/Military light utility vehicle  United Kingdom 32~ Primarily used by the Croatian Army's special forces and military police; many transferred to the Croatian Police. Of the 200 ordered in 1998, only 32 remain in service with the armed forces; some 120 transferred to civilian use, many ending up with the MUP, ministry of interior in various roles, some with Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and some with Border Patrol Units.[83][84]

Multiuse vehicles

Civilian multiuse vehicles
Model Image Type Origin Number Details
Iveco Trakker Iveco Trakker.jpg Medium and heavy trucks, cab forward  Italy 120+ initial order of a half a dozen or so vehicles made in 2007. Most are used along with the MAN Trucks for heavy transporter role.[85][86] Chosen as the main heavy truck for Croatian Army Service. To replace older FAP, TAM and MAN trucks in service with the Army. The quantity of these vehicles has increased year by year, but due to shortage of funds major purchases are avoided. Currently about a dozen or so new vehicles are ordered and delivered each year.
Iveco Daily CAMELEON IV440 with Patrol Module.jpg Medium trucks  Italy 120+ Initial order of a half a dozen or so vehicles made in 2007. Most are used along with the FAP and TAM medium trucks for a logistical transporter role. To replace older FAP, TAM and Zastava aging trucks in service with the Army. Number to vehicles to rise; however, due to shortage of funds, major purchases are avoided. Currently about a dozen or so new vehicles are ordered and delivered each year.
Ford Cargo Turkische ford cargo.jpg Heavy Truck  United States 6+6 Donation by US, a first batch of 6 trucks, with 6 more to be delivered at the later stage in 2020. Comes as part of US donation to Croatian Army Engineering Regiment along with number of other equipment including entire army field kitchen and elements of field hospital. Equipment donation is meant to supplement Croatian UN Contingent.[87]
Nissan Navara 2nd Nissan Frontier SE crew cab.jpg 4WD/pickup truck  Japan 250+ Standard utility vehicle of the Croatian Army, 80 units ordered in 2010, all delivered and in service by mid-2012. Additional vehicles ordered to replace older vehicles currently in service. Currently over 250 in service with the armed forces.[88][89]

Withdrawn from service or in storage

    • FN FAL 7.62×51mm 5,000 stored to be sold off
    • Zastava M84 7.62×54mmR, totally phased out and replaced by Western systems.
    • Zastava M76, 7.92×57mm sniper rifle was phased out entirely replaced by Remington and SAKO in service with the Army.
    • M80 "Zolja" RPG – phased out due to dwindling stock, replaced by AT4
    • T-55A withdrawal of over 280 units started in 2006 with a dozen or so tanks used for training until late 2009, but even that is no longer the case due to shortage of funds and all units have now been withdrawn and awaiting disposal.
    • M-47 Patton (16) (2 in the local army museum and rest are target practice)
    • M60P/M60SAN (45) (Yugoslav-made APCs – scrap heap and two in the local army museum)
    • BRDM-2
    • BTR-60 (16) (2 in the local army museum, scrap heap)
    • ZSU-57-2 (2) (target practice)
    • M53/59 Praga (24) (2 in the local army museum, scrap heap)
    • MT-LB (10) 2 in local museum, rest scrapped and replaced by Patria AMV
    • M-63 Plamen 128mm Towed MRL – retired due to lack of ammunition and costly upkeep, no spare parts for the system
    • M-94 'Plamen S 128mm MRL – no longer fit for purpose, retired and awaiting disposal
    • M-87 Orkan MRL 260mm, Captured during Battle of the Barracks in 1991, systems are kept in reserve status due to lack of proper ammunition.
    • RPG-7 Systesm retired but some might be used by army reserve and for training purposes only.
    • RPG-22 system replaced by AT4 and other RPGs currently in use with the Army.
    • M-84 Nora A

See also

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