Croatian Navy

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Croatian Navy
Seal of Croatian Navy.png
Emblem of the Croatian Navy
Active 1991
Country Croatia
Size 1,442 personnel,[1] 26 vessels
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
Rear Admiral 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.[2]

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:[3]

  • Navy Command
    • Command Company
    • Naval Flotilla in Split - Lora Naval Port
      • Flotilla Command
      • Surface Action Squadron with Croatia's 5x missile boats and 3x land-based RBS-15 launch stations
      • Support Squadron
      • Mine Countermeasures Squadron
    • Coast guard in Split - Lora Naval Port
      • Coast Guard Command
      • 1st Coast Guard Squadron in Split
      • 2nd Coast Guard Squadron in Pula
      • 4x Air Force Mil Mi-8MTV-1 helicopters based at Split - Divulje airfield are operationally attached to the Coast Guard for maritime SAR and navy support and 2x Pilatus PC-9 planes based at Zadar - Zemunik Air Base are operationally attached to the Coast Guard for maritime patrol duties.
    • Sea Surveillance Battalion in Split - Lora Naval Port with 4x Enhanced Peregrine Naval Radar Posts at Lastovo, Dugi otok, Mljet and Vis, 9x GEM SC-2050XS Naval Radar Posts at Savudrija, Brijuni, Mali Lošinj, Dugi otok, Žirje, Vis, Lastovo, Mljet and Molunat and the Navy's Signals and Communications equipment.
    • Split Naval Base managing the Lora Naval Port
      • Ships Support Battalion
      • Supply and Transport Company
      • Service Support Company
      • Naval Detachment North in Pula
      • Naval Detachment South in Ploče
      • Naval Barracks SVeti Nikola - Lora
      • Medical Center
    • Naval Training Center "Petar Krešimir IV" in Split - Lora Naval Port

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

Patrol boats

  • 4 Mirna class  Croatia - radar equipment modernized in 2007 and new fast boats added in 2009-2012,by the end of 2016 they will be replaced with 5 OOB-39 project ships.
    • OB-01 Novigrad (1980)
    • OB-02 Šolta (1982)
    • OB-03 Cavtat (1984)
    • OB-04 Hrvatska Kostajnica (1985)

Landing craft - Minelayer

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 and undergo further upgrades
    • LM-51 Korčula (2006)

School ship

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

Salvage Ship

  • 1 Spasilac class  Croatia - 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. The 2015 Strategic Defence Review envisages an overhaul and upgrade suitable for 'interception duties' to be completed in 2020. A revised out-of-service date is not known.

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 RTOP-11 has completed a basic overhaul and engine upgrade worth around €5 million. RTOP-12 will also be upgraded to this standard.

The RBS-15 missile system was due to be scrapped but this decision was reversed and an upgrade to 20 units will be completed by 2018. Successful live firing of the upgraded missiles was conducted from a mobile launcher and from RTOP-12 during 2015. The first missile firing exercise by the HRM since 1994.

Four patrol boats currently in service have been upgraded with new radars andstern 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 order was placed with Brodosplit in April 2015 and the keel of the first ship laid in September of the same year. As projected, the first vessel is to enter service in 2016, the second and third in 2017, the fourth in 2018 and the last one in 2019. Units are projected to cost around 10 million euros respectively.[4]

Croatian crews are already training in Germany ahead of the donation of two surplus Kulmbach class mine hunters in 2017. These will complement LM-51 and will use two ROVs being donated by USA. It is planned to use the ships for offshore patrol duties as well as mine warfare and it is expected that one ship will be permanently assigned to the Standing NATO Mine-Countermeasures Group (SNMCMG) in the Mediterranean.

Previously reported plans for the purchase of 2-4 offshore patrol vessels (OPV) / surface combatants have been cancelled due to budgetary constraints but the 2015 Strategic Defence Review envisages the procurement of a second-hand OPV by 2024. Politicians and military figures continue to discuss construction of new-build OPVs / surface combatants in the post-2020 timeframe but this is an unfunded project.

Future projects[edit]

  • Overhaul of existing 2 Kralj class fast attack craft, including new engines. Cost of program - 70 million Croatian Kuna - the project has been initiated with the complete overhaul of one of the vessels (RTOP-11).
  • Overhaul and upgrade of existing Helsinki class fast attack craft by 2020 for interception duties.
  • Overhaul of training ship Andrija Mohorovičić by 2024.
  • Five 42 meter patrol boats armed with 30mm Typhoon Weapon System stabilized remote weapon station and two 12.7mm Heavy Machine Guns- Cost of program - 380 million Croatian Kuna - an international tender for this project was published in April, 2013; delivery 2016-2019.[5][6]
  • Following an endorsement by the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Strategic Defence Review has announced that the salvage ship Faust Vrančić will be upgraded by 2020 to make it an effective platform for conducting various ecological operations.
  • Donation of two Kulmbach class mine hunters by Germany (Croatia to pay delivery and overhaul costs). Due to be delivered in 2017.[7]
  • Donation of two mine warfare ROVs by the USA for operation on the Kulmbach Class minehunters.
  • One second-hand Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) by 2024
  • Replacement of the RBS-15 missiles with a new system from 2020-2024.
  • Unconfirmed plans for procurement of new-build OPVs / Corvettes from 2020

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]