The US government has approved the foreign military sale of eight UH-60M Black Hawk medium-lift military helicopters to the Croatian Army.
The agreement is valued at approximately $500 million. Half of the amount will be provided by Washington and the rest by Zagreb.
In addition to the helicopters, the army will receive engines, high/ultra-frequency satellite communication radios, anti-missile warning and navigation systems, and other integrated avionics.
The package will incorporate associated armor protection systems, weapon mounts, M240H machine guns, and UH-60M training platforms.
Work for the contract will be conducted by Black Hawk manufacturer Lockheed Martin and its subsidiary Sikorsky in Stratford, Connecticut.
Croatia’s defense ministry wrote that the procurement supports the army’s efforts “to deter current and future threats” by replacing older Soviet platforms with Western technology.
Alongside domestic deployments, the upcoming helicopters will be used for interoperability with allies, including US forces and NATO partners.
“The purchase of the Black Hawk helicopter once again confirms the strategic partnership with the USA, as well as the commitment of the Government of the Republic of Croatia to investments in strengthening the capabilities of all components of the Croatian Army,” the Croatian Ministry of Defence said.
Croatian Black Hawk Fleet
The Pentagon delivered two UH-60Ms for $390 million to Croatia in 2022.
This step supported the Balkan state in its ongoing “small arms race” with neighboring Serbia, known for its strong ties with Russia.
In 2019, the US State Department approved a $115-million sale of the helicopters to Zagreb. This followed an announcement of a separate, two-unit Black Hawk donation to the country in 2018.
The initial plan to invest in an American military rotorcraft fleet was revealed by Former Croatian Defense Minister Ante Kotromanović in 2014.