Croatian Navy

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Croatian Navy
Seal of Croatian Navy.png

Emblem of the Croatian Navy
Active 1991
Country Croatia
Size 1,625 personnel
H/Q Lora naval base, Split
Patron Saint Nicholas
March Mi smo hrvatski mornari (We are the Croatian sailors)
Anniversaries 18 September - first recorded Croatian naval victory (under duke Branimir against Venetians near Makarska in 887)
Engagements Croatian War of Independence
Operation ATALANTA
Decorations Order of Duke Domagoj (Red kneza Domagoja)
Commanders
Current
commander
Commodore Robert Hranj
Notable
commanders
Fleet Admiral Sveto Letica, Admiral Vid Stipetić, Viceadmiral Zdravko Kardum, Admiral Janko Vuković Podkapelski
Insignia
Naval Ensign Naval Ensign of Croatia.svg
Naval Jack Naval Jack of Croatia.svg

The Croatian Navy (Croatian: Hrvatska ratna mornarica) is a branch of the Croatian Armed Forces.

History[edit]

The modern Croatian navy was born during the Croatian War of Independence in 1991. Commemorating the naval battles in September 1991, but also as the day when the fleet of medieval Croatian duke Branimir defeated the Venetian navy on September 18, 887, the Day of the Croatian Navy is commemorated yearly on September 18.[1]

The contemporary origins of the navy are in the Austro-Hungarian Navy, as well as the navy of Yugoslavia, whose 35 ships and various depots were seized during the war.

Purpose[edit]

The mission of the Croatian Navy (HRM) is to defend the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia, to promote and protect its interest in the Adriatic Sea, islands and coast-lands. It carries and organizes the naval defense of the Republic of Croatia. The Croatian Navy fulfils its role by preparing itself and carrying out the following main tasks:

  1. Deterring the threat to the Republic of Croatia by maintaining high level of competence, training and technical quality of equipment
  2. Constant control of the Adriatic Sea and coast-land and monitoring of foreign war ships' movement
  3. Strengthening of the safety conditions on the Adriatic Sea and preserving the integrity of the maritime borders
  4. Implementation of the program "Partnership for Peace in the Mediterranean"

Structure of Croatian Navy[edit]

Current structure of the Croatian Navy

The following commands were created to carry out the mission of the Croatian Navy:[2]

  • Navy command
    • Command company
    • Navy flotilla
      • Flotilla Command
      • Surface Ships Division
      • Support Division
      • Mine Warfare Section
    • Coast guard
      • Coast Guard Command
      • 1st Coast Guard Division
      • 2nd Coast Guard Division
    • Marine Infantry Regiment
    • Coastal Surveillance Battalion
    • Navy Training Center
    • Split Naval Base
      • Naval Detachment North
      • Naval Detachment South

Naval equipment[edit]

Fleet[edit]

RTOP-41 Vukovar
RTOP-11 "Kralj Petar Krešimir"
OB-02 Šolta
LM-51 Korčula
Salvage ship Faust Vrančić
MOL Anti-ship missile system

Missile boats

  • 2 Helsinki class  Finland - possibly to undergo anti-aircraft systems upgrade
    • RTOP-41 Vukovar (1985)
    • RTOP-42 Dubrovnik (1986)
  • 1 Končar class  Croatia
    • Šibenik (RTOP-21) (1978) - extensively overhauled in 1991 to match the Kralj class, might be retired by 2017 and replaced by another gunboat, possibly by a 3rd Helsinki class ship

Patrol boats

  • 4 Mirna class  Croatia - radar equipment modernized in 2007 and new fast boats added in 2009-2012, to be supplemented by 5 new 42m patrol crafts under 380 million kuna plan of naval modernization
    • OB-01 Novigrad (1980)
    • OB-02 Šolta (1982)
    • OB-03 Cavtat (1984)
    • OB-04 Hrvatska Kostajnica (1985)

Landing craft - Minelayer

Ships to be overhauled in 2017/18 under 100 million kuna plan.

Armed Landing Craft

  • Type 11
    • DJB-101
    • DJB-103
    • DJB-104
  • Type 22
    • DJB-105
    • DJB-106
  • Type 21
    • DJB-107

Minehunter

  • 1 Korčula class Croatia - to be installed with a remote-controlled submersible drone in 2013 and undergo further upgrades
    • LM-51 Korčula (2006) 2nd ship in the class is planned for 2017/8.

School ship

  • 1 Moma class  Poland
    • BŠ-72 Andrija Mohorovičić (1972)

Salvage Ship

  • 1 Spasilac class  Yugoslavia - due to undergo various upgrades for conducting ecological and SAR operations
    • BS-73 Faust Vrančić (1976)
  • plus about 20 other auxiliary ships and crafts

Coastal and other equipment[edit]

Current fleet status[edit]

RTOP-21 Sibenik

Two former Helsinki class missile boats, FNS Oulu and FNS Kotka, were acquired from Finland. They were renamed Vukovar and Dubrovnik respectively, and entered service in December, 2008. They were acquired along with a considerable amount of spare parts (most notably three MTU engines - to be installed on Kralj class vessels) due to a severe shortage of vessels at present. The price of these ships was €9 million and is considered rather symbolic, mostly because it was a part of the offset deal for the previous Croatian acquisition of Patria AMV armoured vehicles. The ships reached their full operational capability in June, 2009 and are set to remain in service until at least 2022. They may undergo an anti-aircraft systems' upgrade.

The Končar class missile boat Šibenik has been overhauled with new turbine engines and radars and is due to remain in service until 2018-2020. The Kralj class vessels were planned to be extensively modernized at a price of €20 million, but as a result of the recent acquisition of Helsinki class boats, they will probably undergo just an overhaul and an engine replacement, believed to be worth around €5 million per each ship.

Four patrol boats currently in service have been upgraded with new radar and the stern anti-aircraft gun has been replaced with a hoist for a semi-rigid inflatable. These are to be augmented and eventually replaced by an entirely new class. Construction of the first out of the projected 5 vessels (more to follow later on) was scheduled to start in 2007, however the international tender for the construction of 1 + 4 vessels was published only on April 24, 2013. The tender calls for the acquisition of a total of 5 inshore patrol ship which are to be 42 meters long, with a displacement of roughly 220 tons and a maximum sustained speed of at least 28 knots. They are to be armed with a 30 mm Remote weapon station as their main armament along with two 12,7 mm heavy machine guns and a MANPADS launcher. The tender is to be finalized by late May 2013 and the construction of the first ship is to start in the last quarter of the same year. As projected, the first vessel is to enter service in early 2015, the second one in 2016, the third and the fourth in 2017 and the last one in 2018. Units are projected to cost around 10 million euros respectively.[3]

Previously reported plans for the purchase of 2-4 offshore patrol vessels / surface combatants have been delayed for the time being but as stated by the MoD, the Navy is to continue developing its anti-surface and anti-shipping capabilities.

Future projects[edit]

  • The Strategic Defence Review has announced the withdrawal of the RBS-15 missile citing "prolonged period of poor maintenance". The purchase of a replacement missile system will be "reviewed", however given current Croatian defence priorities the likelihood of such an expensive project being pursued is questionable. In either case the fleet of 5 missile boats will be retained until the end of their service lives. However, after strong criticism of numerous military experts, the Minister od Defence confirmed that 20-25 RBS-15B will be kept operational and possibly undergo a modernisation seen as talks have already started with the Swedish manufacturing company about such an option.
  • Overhaul of existing 2 Kralj class fast attack craft, including new engines. Cost of program - 70 million Croatian Kuna - the project has still to be initiated.
  • 5 (projected) new patrol boats - Cost of program - 380 million Croatian Kuna - an international tender for this project was published in April, 2013.[4]
  • Following an endorsement by the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Strategic Defence Review has announced that the salvage ship Faust Vrančić will be upgraded to make it an effective platform for conducting various ecological operations.
  • 2 Göteborg class corvette - HMS Kalmar K23 and HMS Sundsvall K24 are being offered to the Croatian Navy if Croatia agrees on JAS-39 Gripen purchase. Program is a donation but since two missile boats have already been bought, the deal is questionable. Also announcements by the Croatian government indicate the indefinite postponement of the purchase of new fighter aircraft so this deal must be considered unlikely.[5]
  • 11-12 smaller boats of various purpose and class are due to enter service by 2012.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]