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Croatia cleared to buy more Black Hawks

The first of an initial four UH-60M Black Hawks for Croatia (pictured) was delivered in February 2022. The former Yugloslav country has been approved to buy eight more such helicopters for a final fleet of 12. (Croatian Ministry of Defence)

Croatia has been cleared to buy additional Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters, with the US State Department granting approval for the proposed procurement on 26 January.

With four Black Hawks already received, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the approval of a further eight such helicopters for the Balkan country for a final fleet of 12.

“The proposed sale will improve Croatia's capability to deter current and future threats and support coalition operations as well as promote interoperability with the United States and other NATO forces,” the DSCA said.

The proposed sale is valued at USD500 million and includes related equipment, spares, training, and support. News of the approval came two years after Croatia received its first Black Hawk helicopter in February 2022. Of the first four helicopters ordered, two were bought and paid for by Croatia, and two were gifted by the US government.

In Croatian Air Force and Air Defence (AFAD) service, the Black Hawk is used for a range of roles, including troop lift, border security, counter terrorism, medical evacuation, search and rescue, resupply or external lift, and combat support. As the most modern variant of the Black Hawk helicopter, the UH-60M incorporates more powerful and reliable General Electric T700-GE-701D engines, enhanced rotor blades, and a fully digital ‘glass' cockpit.

As previously noted by the US embassy in Zagreb, the Republic of Croatia's incorporation of US Black Hawk helicopters builds upon previous and ongoing military co-operation, including Croatia's upcoming acquisition of Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

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