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Croatia places priority on procuring air-defence systems

Croatian defence spending trend, 2015–30 (Janes)

The procurement of short- and medium-range air-defence systems is a priority of the Croatian Army, Defence Minister Mario Banožić told parliament on 20 April. He placed this in the context of the crash of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in Zagreb on 10 March.

More generally, Banožić stressed the need to improve the conditions of Croatian soldiers, as well as for modernisation, equipment, and investment, to maintain existing and develop additional capabilities for all three armed services.

Croatia‘s defence budget in 2021 was HRK7.2 billion (USD1.03 billion), which Banožić claimed represented 2.16% of GDP, with 30% of the Croatian defence budget spent on equipment. This compares with the NATO goals for members to spend 2% of GDP on defence and 20% of their defence budgets on equipment.

Banožić said the increased defence spending was going into the purchase of Rafale combat aircraft from France for the Croatian Air Force, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and other vehicles and weapons for a medium infantry brigade, and coastal patrol and other vessels.

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