Croatian Army

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Croatian Army
Seal of Croatian Army.png
Emblem of the Croatian Army
Active 1991-Present
Country Croatia
Type Army
Size 12,500 personnel As of 31 March 2014[1]
Part of Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia
H/Q Karlovac
Motto "Domovini vjerni" (Faithful to Homeland)
March Mi smo garda hrvatska (We are the guards of Croatia)
Anniversaries 28 May
Equipment 84 MBT, 617 IFV & APC, 298 artillery pieces, mortars
Engagements

Croatian War of Independence:

Bosnian war:

War in Afghanistan
Commanders
Current
commander
Major General Dragutin Repinc
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 (also Croatian Ground Army, Croatian: Hrvatska kopnena vojska, Hrvatska vojska) is a branch of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia.

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 basic tasks of the Croatian Army are:

  • to maintain an optimal level of combat readiness of the Armed Forces
  • to fight a possible aggressor's main forces on strategic-operational levels and to defend against any land, air and amphibious assaults
  • to prevent, in cooperation with the other branches of the Armed Forces, an aggressor from in-depth operations on Croatian territory
  • to build and develop the capability to respond to requests of non-traditional tasks that are required of the Croatian Army (floods, fires, natural disasters...)
  • to assist its allies and friendly countries in time of need.

History[edit]

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.[2]

Organizational structure and status[edit]

The Croatian Army is an all-volunteer force numbering 12,500 active personnel. 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 mechanized and one motorized 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, modernization of obsolete anti aircraft systems, 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 recently, Croatia 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 is the M-84A4 Sniper main battle tank. However, modernization of the tank fleet to the M-84D standard is one of the priorities set in the new defense budget.

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, but an additional 42 were purchased in an extended contract signed in December 2008. Croatia thus has 126 units on order with the first six vehicles manufactured in Finland delivered by late 2008. All remaining vehicles will be locally produced. According to some reports, at least 50-60 additional APCs are needed. In 2010, an order was placed for an undisclosed number (most probably 56) of Protector (RWS) remote controlled weapons stations (RCWS).[3]

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 will rely on 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. In 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 plans to introduce a new assault rifle in 5.56mm NATO caliber to replace the AK-47 and its derivatives. The preferred model seems to be the locally manufactured VHS developed by HS Produkt. It was reported in the media that the MoD has purchased the initial batch of 1,000 rifles in 2009-2010. Previous Defense Ministers Rončević and Vukelić both went on record stating the requirement for up to 20,000 rifles. The MoD press and photo releases from regular training activities in 2011 indicate that the VHS has 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 Motorized Brigade that will be made available to the German-led EU Battle Group in 2012. There have been unconfirmed reports that the rifle is being tested in Afghanistan.

Current structure of Croatian Army[edit]

Current structure of the Croatian Army
  • Land Forces Command (based in Karlovac) [4]
    • Armored Guard Brigade (based in Vinkovci)
      • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
      • 1st Tank Battalion "Kune"
      • 2nd Tank Battalion
      • 3rd Mechanised Battalion "Sokolovi"
      • 4th Mechanised Battalion "Pume"
      • Artillery Battalion
      • Air Defence Battalion
      • Engineer Battalion
      • Reconnaissance Company
      • Signals Company
      • Logistics Company
    • Motorized Guard Brigade (based in Knin)
      • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
      • 1st Motorised Battalion "Vukovi"
      • 2nd Motorised Battalion "Pauci"
      • 3rd Mechanised Battalion "Tigrovi"
      • 4th Mechanised Battalion "Gromovi"
      • Artillery Battalion
      • Air Defence Battalion
      • Engineer Battalio
      • Reconnaissance Company
      • Signals Company
      • Logistics Company
    • Training and Doctrine Command Fran Krsto Frankopan (based in Pozega)
      • Infantry Regiment
      • Artillery Regiment
      • Air Defence Regiment
      • Engineer Regiment
      • Logistics Regiment
      • Basic Training Centre
      • Tactical Artillery Training Centre
      • Training and Operations Simulation Centre
      • Training Centre for International Military Operations
    • Military Police Regiment
    • Signals Regiment
    • Military Intelligence Battalion
    • NBC Defence Battalion

Modernization plans[edit]

Croatian soldier with VHS assault rifle.
Soldiers take cover beside Patria AMV.
Patria AMV ready for patrol.

Economic recession in much of the EU and in Croatia from 2009 caused the revision of Croatia's plans to modernize its armed forces. Initially it was planned to spend around 15 billion kuna on armed forces modernization not included in this was a special purchase for advanced jet fighters which would cost another 8-12 billion kuna. Croatia's responsibility towards NATO some schedules had to be fulfilled, such as procurement of modern armored personal carrier as well as modernization of infantry solder, from training to equipping infantry units with best gear army can afford. Program is almost an end, should be fully implemented by the end of 2015.

Although there were quite a few setbacks in Army modernization plans, such as delays in purchase of new infantry fighting vehicles, light armored personal carriers, no real strategy as to what to do with M84A4 main battle tanks and army logistics got little or no new equipment since 2008. However, large donations by US military as well as other NATO allies should ensure that the Croatian Army of 2020 can fully integrate and interoperate with NATO in terms of equipment, logistics and weapon systems.[5]

Main Programs

  • Procurement of 126 Patria AMV Modular APC/IFV - 2.8 billion Kuna (additional vehicles might be ordered after 2017).
  • Procurement of 167 Oshkosh M-ATV and 47 MRAP by late 2014. These are going to be donated by the USA Army and the Croatian MoD is only to pay the transportation of the equipment. Cost of program - 80 million Kuna.
  • Procurement of a medium-range (ceiling of >9,000 metres) air-defense system around 2015 as a part of the new plan to form a surface-to air battery.
  • Procurement of 18 surplus German PzH 2000 advanced artillery systems which are to be delivered before 2015 to replace the obsolete 2S1 self-propelled howitzers. Cost of program - 200 million Kuna.
  • Procurement of 550 x 5-ton army trucks, 200 x 7.5-ton military trucks and 300 4WD vehicles - program is in a full swing and first batch of MAN (150), Mercedes (30) and Iveco (50) military trucks was delivered by 2008. Croatian Army also ordered large numbers of new 4WD vehicles, Mercedes-Benz G-Class - 160(320), Land Rover Wolf - 30, Toyota Land Cruiser - 50, Nissan Navara - 50, delivered in 2005-2007. Up to 300 additional second-hand trucks from the German stock are to be delivered by the end of 2014. Cost of program - 600 million Kuna.
  • Modernization of M-84A4 Sniper MBTs. Program calls for an upgrade and modernization of 72 existing tanks. There are some indication that program might receive funding, but its still unclear how many tanks might be modernized or any as of now only overhaul of tanks is being mentioned.[6]
  • Introduction of new 5.56 mm NATO standard assault rifle. Cost of program - unknown. (20,000 rifles with day/night sights and grenade launchers are planned). Most likely choice is domestic VHS assault rifle, contract for acquisition of first 1,000 rifles was signed with HS Produkt.
  • Overhaul and modernization of communication and data link networks as well as battlefield management systems - program cost: 150 million kuna, program finalized in 2003 and 2007, Croatian army purchased 135 TRC4000 communication and data link full sets[7] as well as 700 SINCGARS-RT-1702G sets and in 2013 donation by US Government of additional 18 Harris 117G[8] sets completes the overall requirements for Croatian Army for modern NATO standard communication and data link equipment.[9] Program is all but fully completed, some donation by western allies and US quite likely in near future, including some additional ground radar systems and company level battlefield management systems is possible but as it is right now Croatian Army is fully equipped and up to latest NATO standard when it comes to C1, C2, C3, C4 and ISTAR capability supplemented with unmanned UAVs for day and night over the horizon intelligence capability. However, much of Croatia's current military arsenal predates latest NATO's technological trends and integration in to NATO's own military C4 and ISTAR infrastructure might prove difficult for some of the hardware that requires costly modernization or complete replacing by NATO standard equipment which itself adds additional burdens on already stretched defence budget.
  • Scores of smaller programs, communication equipment, night-vision capability, electronic sensors, NBC equipment, battlefield management systems and modernization of artillery systems with new sights and electronic fire-control 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[edit]

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

Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
HS Produkt HS 2000 HS2000.png 9x19mm  Croatia 40,000 standard sidearm
Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
H&K MP5 MP5.png 9x19mm  Germany 80-100 special forces and the anti terrorist police
H&K UMP UMP45.png 9x19mm  Germany 80-100~ special forces and the anti terrorist police
H&K MP7 MP7.png 4.6x30mm  Germany 70-80~ special forces and the anti terrorist police

The Croatian Army's current standard assault rifle is the M70, with around 10,000 still in active service. This is being replaced by the Croatian made HS Produkt VHS, of which 5,000+ are currently in use. The VHS will entirely replace the M70 by 2015. Croatian peackeepers 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. Much of stock of small arms is being replaced by western designs and will lead to the eventual withdrawal of some older models such as Zastava M76, RT-20, MSCS M1 &2, and older Remington rifles. 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 mid-2015 due to number of new armored vehicles being armed with remote overhead weapon stations, as well as stand alone firing ports on a number of new armored vehicles Croatia has acquired or is to acquire from US and other NATO partners).

Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
HS Produkt VHS/VHS2 HS VHS.png 5.56X45mm  Croatia 6200~ around 3000 rifles in service as of early 2013, with additional 1580~ acquired under original 2008 contract,[10] Requirement calls for 17000 new assault rifles with 1500~ rifles being delivered annually. VHS2 Riffle is still being tested and isn't likely to enter service with the army before 2017. 500 VHA1 Rifles intended for Croatian Army sold to US DOD.[11][12][13]
Zastava M70 M70.png 7.62x39mm  Yugoslavia 6000 84,000 stored and offered for sale, 44,000 sold to Afghanistan in 2010, 4000 donated to Mali in 2013,[14] some 6000 rifles sold to Syrian Rebels via Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Rifle should be phased out by the end of 2015.[15][16]
H&K G36C G36.png 5.56X45mm  Germany 550 standard assault rifle in service with the Special Forces and Ministry of the Interior, additional 200 acquired for MUP for total of 750.
FN F2000 F2000.png 5.56x45mm  Belgium 100 used by BSD & weapon familiarization
Colt M4 M4SOPMOD.png 5.56x45mm  United States 200 - used by ISF contingent and BSD [17]
Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
Sako TRG-42 TRG42.png 8.6x70mm  Finland 240 standard sniper rifle of Croatian Army replacing older models.
MACS M3 MACSM3.png 12.7x99mm  Croatia 32~ standard sniper rifle, 48~ stored, supplements Sako TRG.
RT-20 RT20.png 20x110mm  Croatia 20~ anti-materiel rifle, some stored
Remington M40A5 M40.png 7.62x51  United States 70~ [1] 100~ older A1 models being phased out, with few remaining for familiarization and training.
Barrett M82 M82Barret.png 12.7x99mm  United States 24~ anti-materiel rifle, a dozen or so kept in reserve status.
Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
RBG-6 RBG6.png 40x46mm  Croatia 124 112 with Croatian Army and 12 with special forces and anti terrorist units. [2]
H&K AG36 AG36.png 40x46mm  Germany 300 Comes as standard with all H&K G36C deployed in ISAF and other NATO/EU missions.
Model Image Caliber Origin Quantity Note
Browning M2 BrowningM2.png 12.7x99mm  United States 570+ more to be acquired.
FN M249 M249.png 5.56x45mm  Belgium 100 [3] more to be acquired.
FN MAG FNMAG.png 7.62x51mm  Belgium 400~ number purchased for new light armored vehicles and infantry mobility vehicles armored
Ultimax 100 Ultimax100.png 5.56x45mm  Singapore 100 purchased in mid 1990s, just after the Homeland War.

Long term status for M84 fleet remains questionable with possible replacement by a modern western tank around 2017/8, Unexpectedly though, on April 24, 2013 the Defence Minister signed a memorandum with Đuro Đaković - Specijalna vozila for the upkeep, maintenance and light modernization part of the M84 fleet (44 tanks), the aim of which is to improve the serviceability of the fleet.[18] according to current plans only 4 tanks are to be fully overhauled at cost of $1.8 million or roughly $440,000 per tank. with potential for 44 tanks (Kune armoured battalion) to be fully overhauled by late 2017 at cost of $20 million or 110 million Kuna. Long term plans regarding the future role of M-84 tanks in Croatian Army is yet be defined by MOD, a likely replacement by a more modern NATO tank now seems a possibility with Croatian MOD negotiating extensive arms procurement package with German MOD which consists of Warships, Howitzers, Trucks and potentially armored vehicles.

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
M-84A4 Sniper M-84A4Snajper MBT  Yugoslavia 84 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.[19]

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. Croatian Government is negotiating a purchase of second had Marder 1A3[20] vheicles from German army stock as an interim solution before the next generation of infantry fighting vehicles are purchased sometimes after 2020. Croatian requirements call for 104 vehicles in standard IFV role and 8-12 vehicles as armoured ambulance. Contract value wasn't disclosed but it was mentioned that is affordable for Croatian Army. M80A vehicles for which Croatia lacks proper maintenance and spare parts due to parts no longer being manufactured will be retired and relegated in to reserve status.

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 and additional Patria AMV IFVs were considered as an alternative but this also has now been rejected due to the fact that requirements call for a tracked IFV capable of keeping up with the tanks.[21]
BTR-50PK BTR-50P Amfibija.jpg APC  Soviet Union 26 To be replaced by the amphibious version of Patria AMV by 2015.

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, 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. [4]

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
Patria AMV Croatian Patria AMV Karlovac 2009.jpg APC  Finland 126 All units were delivered by mid-2013 but final fitting out and equipping to be concluded no sooner than 2016. An additional third battalion might be ordered after 2015 to fulfill all NATO obligations.[22]
BOV VP BOV BSD (2).jpg APC  Yugoslavia 54 Some are used by the Military Police and in ISAF missions. Possibly to be phased out or reduced in quantity after 2015 and replaced by International MaxxPro or HMMWV counterparts.[23]
M-83 Polo BOV POLO M 83.jpg APC  Yugoslavia 37 An anti-tank variant armed with the improved 9M14P1 Malyutka missiles.
LOV-1 LOV-T1 Hrvatske vojske.JPG APC  Croatia 72 A light APC of indigenous design, 72 of which were produced between 1993 and 1997. Possibly to be phased out or reduced in quantity after 2015 and replaced by International MaxxPro or HMMWV counterparts.[24]
Iveco LMV Lako oklopno vozilo Iveco (HV).jpg IMV  Italy 12 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 Humvee in difficult terrain.jpg IMV  United States 83 The vehicles are mostly used by the ISAF forces in Afghanistan, but at least 13 newly built units delivered in 2012 are home-based. [5]. Yet additional vehicles are to be acquired around 2015. 65 M1151s and 18 M1141 vehicles in service. [25]
Oshkosh M-ATV M153 CROWS mounted on a U.S. Army M-ATV.jpg MRAP  United States 167 On order from the US Army stocks. The initial order was made for 122 vehicles but additional 40 units were requested and approved by US Senate. All vehicles to be delivered by the end of 2014.[26][27] Additional 5 vehicles are still deployed in ISAF to return to Croatia in 2015 for total of 167 vehicles. [28]
International MaxxPro International MaxxPro.jpg MRAP  United States 40 A total of 30 vehicles are in Croatia and additional 10 in Afghanistan. Used for urban patrol and peacekeeping operations mainly.[29]
RG-33 Defense.gov photo essay 070824-N-2855B-120.jpg MRAP  United States/ United Kingdom 20 A total of 20 units in MRAP HAGA armoured ambulance configuration delivered and to enter service by October 2014.[30][31][32]
Model Image Type Origin Number Details
M-84AI Iraqi Armoured recovery vehicles.JPG Armoured Recovery Vehicle  Croatia 4 The last vehicle entered service in 2002.
T-55TZI Tank3 Zamárdi.jpg Armoured Recovery Vehicle  Soviet Union 4 Are awaiting replacement. [6]
MT-55A Bundeswehrmuseum Dresden 68.jpg Armoured Bridge Vehicle  Czechoslovakia 2+ Additional bridge units are mounted on KrAZ 6x6 heavy trucks, but are awaiting replacement. [7]
GSP-55 self-propelled amphibious ferry GSP-55.jpg Amphibious Vehicle  Soviet Union 2 Only 2 operational and used with engineering unit. awaiting replacement by modern NATO system.[33]
PTS-M PTS-2.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. 4 System seen at the parade, but number could be higher, serving with engineering regiment, awaiting replacement by modern NATO system.
MV-4 Interpolitex 2013 (534-38).jpg Combat engineer  Croatia 4 used for demining operations [8]

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 surface-to-air missile system  Croatia 9 The systems were modernized throughout the years.
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 Bofors-40-L70-hatzerim-2-1.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 USA or Israel in 2002-2004. However, officials still claim that the system is stored somewhere in Croatia.
  • Anti-tank weapons

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 2016, 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.[34]

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
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.[35][36] 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 Awaiting replacement by a modern tandem warhead anti tank system.
9K11 Malyutka AT-3 Sagger.jpg wire-guided anti-tank missile  Soviet Union 216 216 modernised 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 2015, to be replaced by modern tandem warhead system after 2015.
RL90 M95 Лансер М79 Оса.jpg RPG  Croatia 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 after 2017.
AT4 AT4-johnson2004-02-03.jpg RPG  Sweden ~ The exact number of these weapons is unknown.[37]

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 choose to purchase 18 Panzerhaubitze 2000 (or one battalion) howitzers from the German Army stock for 200 million Kuna/ or $36 million. The system will be delivered in 2014 and 2015 with all the support infrastructure required including training and logistic and supply trucks.[38][39]

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
M57 60mm mortar round being launch.JPG 60mm Mortar  Yugoslavia 69 1253 kept in reserve [40] mortar has effective range of 3500m with standard projectile. Mortar underwent modification to meet NATO requirements.
M96 Mortar 82mm M-69 Croatian Army.JPG 82mm Mortar  Yugoslavia 69 360 kept in reserve, improved copy of the Yugoslav M69 mortar[41] 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 120mm Mortar  Yugoslavia 43 201 kept in reserve[42] Mortar has 9500m effective range with a standard round projectile, and 5500m with illuminating projectile. Mortar underwent modification to meet NATO requirements.
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 Canadian C3 howitzer March 3, 2009.jpg Howitzer105mm  Yugoslavia/ United States 4 Some US and Some Yugoslav under license built. 156 Captured during Battle of the Barracks in 1991, 44 kept in reserve with 4 used for training,[43]
D-30 RH M94 D-30J howitzer.jpg Howitzer 122mm  Croatia 36 modified Russian D-30 howitzer brought in line with NATO commonality standards, 40 artillery pieces, 1 in museum and 3 loaned to NATO's Joint Multinational Training Centre in Hohenfels in Germany for extend time.[44] To be retired by 2020 and replaced.[45]
CITER 155mm L33 Gun CITER L33 155 mm.JPG Howitzer 155mm  Argentina 18 all systems operational but are to be replaced by 2020.
2S1 Gvozdika Samohodna haubica Gvozdika.jpg Self-propelled howitzer 122mm  Soviet Union 9[46] According to media reports, it is to be replaced by 12 Panzerhaubitze 2000.
Panzerhaubitze 2000 Pantserhouwitser 2000.jpg Self-propelled howitzer 155mm  Germany 12 Ordered from German Army reserve stock, the $54 million contract for 12 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.[47][48] 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. [49]
RAK-12 VLR 128 mm RAK 12 M91 080810 24.jpg MRL 128mm Towed  Croatia 68 Some 8 systems are in active service while additional 60 are kept in reserve status.
APR-40 Samovozni visecjevni lanser raketa SVLR GRAD 122 mm 080810.jpg MRL 122mm  Romania 24 Ordered from Romania in 1992-1993 during the homeland war, 12 kept in reserve for total of 36 systems.

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.'[9]

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.[50]

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 at getting some German Army surplus stock that is in good condition and available for use; 300-400 Army trucks are needed and it is likely they'll all come from German Army surplus - most likely MAN KAT1 army trucks.

Logistic vehicles

Model Image Type Origin Number Details
Iveco Kamion Iveco Eurocargo - veza (HV).jpg 5T Transport Truck  Italy 109 initial order of 39 vehicles made in 2005 and subsequent order for additional 80 vehicles in 2008 and 2009.
Iveco Iveco Trakker.jpg Medium and Heavy Trucks  Italy 40+ 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. [10] [11]
TAM TAM military truck Utility Truck  Slovenia 600~ 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.
Mercedes-Benz Actros 6x6, 8x8 Heavy utility vehicle Heavy Utility Vehicle  Germany 40 Standard heavy utility vehicle of the Croatian Army, 40 units ordered in 2010, all delivered and in service by mid-2012. Additional vehicles might be ordered to replace older vehicles currently in service.
LkW MAN 5t MIL GL 4x4 Troop Truck 5T Truck, Troop transport  Germany 27 27 German Army trucks that were stored and now being refurbished for Croatian Army. 27 Truck initial order, for total of 380-400~ of MAN-KT types Croatian Army ordered from German Army reserve to full fill initial requirement for 1000 army trucks Croatian army needs to replace in coming years.[51][52][53]
MAN Tank Transporter Truck Tank Transporter 40T Truck, Tank Transporter  Germany 16 16 older MAN units in service, being replaced by modern equivalent soon.
Astra Truck Army Utility Truck Medium Utility Vehicle  Italy 33 Standard utility vehicle of the Croatian Army, 33 units ordered in 2004, all delivered and in service. Additional vehicles will be ordered eventually to replace older military trucks currently in service. Croatia needs to replace some 900 military trucks. [12]
Daf Truck 4WD, light utility vehicle Medium Utility Vehicle  Netherlands 60~ Standard utility vehicle of the Croatian Army; 60 units received from the Dutch Army reserve stock in 2001.
Toyota Landcruiser 4WD Utility Vehicles Utility  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 4WD 4WD Utility Light Utility Vehicle  Germany 324 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.
Nissan Navara 4WD 4WD, light utility vehicle Light Utility Vehicle  Japan 80 Standard utility vehicle of the Croatian Army, 80 units ordered in 2010, all delivered and in service by mid-2012. Additional vehicles might be ordered to replace older vehicles currently in service. [13] [14]
Land Rover Wolf 4WD 4WD, light utility vehicle 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.[15] [16]
  • Withdrawn from service or in store
    • FN FAL 7.62x51mm 5,000 stored to be sold off
    • Zastava M847.62x54mm, totally phased out and replaced by western systems.
    • Zastava M76, 7.92x57mm 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 2 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 scraped and replaced by Patria AMV
    • M-96 Tajfun 122mm MRL 4-6 systems all stored
    • M-91 Vulkan 122mm MRL 4-6 systems all stored.
    • 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-46H1 130mm Howitzer 36 systems, all retired and awaiting disposal, some stored in a local museums.
    • M84 "NORA" 152mm Howitzer - 18 retired systems as they no longer comply with NATO requirements and costly upkeeps
    • M114 155mm Howitzer - 24 systems, some in museums with rest retired to do obsolescence.
    • RAK-12 128mm Towed MRL - some 60 launchers stored
    • 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.

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Oružane snage Republike Hrvatske (English:The Croatian Armed Forces) |reserve troops= 6,000 personnel As of 31 March 2014
  2. ^ http://www.braniteljski-portal.hr/sadrzaj/hrvatska/13624
  3. ^ http://www.kongsberg.com/en/kps/news/2010/july/1907_protector_contract_croatia/
  4. ^ http://www.morh.hr/katalog/documents/spremnosti%20obrambenog%20sustava%202008.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.morh.hr/images/stories/morh_sadrzaj/pdf/Republic_of_Croatia-Annual_Exchange_of_Information_on_Defence_Planning-OSCE_2012-cor1.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.morh.hr/images/stories/morh_sadrzaj/pdf/godisnje_izvjesce_o_spremnosti_os_za_2012.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.hrvatski-vojnik.hr/hrvatski-vojnik/0612005/cerovac.asp
  8. ^ http://www.hrvatski-vojnik.hr/
  9. ^ http://www.hrvatski-vojnik.hr/hrvatski-vojnik/1882008/combinedendeavour.asp
  10. ^ http://www.defender.hr/republika-hrvatska/oruzane-snage/potpisivanje-ugovora-o-nabavi-vojnih-odora-i-jurisnih-pusaka-za-potrebe-os-rh.php
  11. ^ http://www.zadarskilist.hr/clanci/30032011/amerikanci-hitno-narucili-500-komada-hrvatske-jurisne-puske
  12. ^ http://arhiva.morh.hr/katalog/documents/dpr_final.pdf
  13. ^ http://www.morh.hr/images/phocagallery/dogadjanja/hvu_01042014/hvu_konferencija_01042014_17.jpg
  14. ^ http://www.morh.hr/en/news/press-releases/8125-croatia-delivers-donated-infantry-weapons-to-mali.html
  15. ^ http://www.defender.hr/republika-hrvatska/obrambena-politika/hrvatska-vlada-donirala-maliju-oruzja-u-vrijednosti-milijun-kuna.php
  16. ^ http://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/za-mir-i-sigurnost-u-afganistanu-hrvatska-donira-15000-pusaka-i-300-topova/548319.aspx
  17. ^ http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HK_417_080810_44.jpg
  18. ^ http://www.morh.hr/hr/vijesti-najave-i-priopcenja/priopcenje/potpisano-pismo-namjere-izmedu-morh-a-i-dure-dakovica.html
  19. ^ http://www.poslovni.hr/domace-kompanije/morh-placa-10-milijuna-kuna-za-remont-cetiri-tenka-m-84-251753
  20. ^ http://www.dnevno.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/121771-foto-bacanje-novca-nakon-sto-je-razgledao-americke-mrap-ove-milanovic-najavio-kupujemo-i-nova-njemacka-oklopna-vozila.html
  21. ^ http://arhiva.morh.hr/katalog/documents/dpr_final.pdf
  22. ^ http://arhiva.morh.hr/katalog/documents/dpr_final.pdf
  23. ^ http://www.jutarnji.hr/kotromanovicev-shopping-za-275-milijuna-za-hv/1118073/
  24. ^ http://www.jutarnji.hr/kotromanovicev-shopping-za-275-milijuna-za-hv/1118073/
  25. ^ http://www.defender.hr/republika-hrvatska/oruzane-snage/od-linicevih-rezova-osrh-spasavaju-jedino-americki-saveznici.php
  26. ^ http://www.slobodnadalmacija.hr/Hrvatska/tabid/66/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/97695/Default.aspx
  27. ^ http://www.hrt.hr/?id=enz&tx_ttnews[cat]=119&cHash=1
  28. ^ http://i.imgur.com/sYbuwie.jpg
  29. ^ http://vijesti.hrt.hr/hv-dobija-30-mrap-vozila-otpornih-na-mine
  30. ^ http://vijesti.hrt.hr/hv-dobija-30-mrap-vozila-otpornih-na-mine
  31. ^ http://www.slobodnadalmacija.hr/Hrvatska/tabid/66/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/97695/Default.aspx
  32. ^ http://www.hrt.hr/?id=enz&tx_ttnews[cat]=119&cHash=1
  33. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_slgN6Cod4
  34. ^ http://www.jutarnji.hr/ministar-u-akciji-kotromanovic-ponistio-pokusaj-namjestanja-posla-izraelcima/1180641/
  35. ^ http://www.morh.hr/hr/vijesti-najave-i-priopcenja/vijesti/8446-bojevo-gadanje-protuoklopnim-raketnim-sustavima-na-gasincima.html
  36. ^ http://www.morh.hr/images/stories/morh_sadrzaj/2013/08_kolovoz/gadjanje_23082013_v.jpg
  37. ^ Richard D (January 27, 2009), Infantry Weapons 2009/2010 (35 ed.), Jane's Information, ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  38. ^ http://www.jutarnji.hr/kotromanovicev-shopping-za-275-milijuna-za-hv/1118073/
  39. ^ http://www.slobodnadalmacija.hr/Spektar/tabid/94/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/217557/Default.aspx
  40. ^ http://arhiva.morh.hr/katalog/documents/dpr_final.pdf
  41. ^ http://arhiva.morh.hr/katalog/documents/dpr_final.pdf
  42. ^ http://arhiva.morh.hr/katalog/documents/dpr_final.pdf
  43. ^ http://arhiva.morh.hr/katalog/documents/dpr_final.pdf
  44. ^ http://balkanmonitor.wordpress.com/category/nato/
  45. ^ http://arhiva.morh.hr/katalog/documents/dpr_final.pdf
  46. ^ http://arhiva.morh.hr/katalog/documents/dpr_final.pdf
  47. ^ http://www.dnevno.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/99104-foto-vojna-vjezba-hrvatske-kopnene-vojske-i-americkih-zracnih-snaga.html
  48. ^ http://www.vecernji.hr/hrvatska/hrvatska-kupuje-12-njemackih-panzerhaubitza-950463
  49. ^ http://www.janes.com/article/40942/croatia-seeks-pzh-2000-purchase
  50. ^ http://obris.org/hrvatska/odbor-za-obranu-o-godisnjem-izvjescu-o-spremnosti/
  51. ^ http://defender.hr/republika-hrvatska/oruzane-snage/morh-trazi-hitan-remont-njemackih-kamiona-lkw-man-5t-mil-gl-4x4.php
  52. ^ http://www.zaslike.com/files/grrc129sbd300w4elo6x.jpg
  53. ^ http://www.zaslike.com/files/iuqj30g7ugwu7vagb1vw.jpg