US Assistance to Modernise Croatia’s Defence Capabilities
As part of the efforts to modernise the Croatian Armed Forces (OSRH), the Croatian Ministry of Defence (MORH) has recently asked the US to donate 16 M270 MLRS mobile multiple rocket launchers from their military surplus, through their assistance programme for allied countries.
Local media state that the MORH also plans to purchase several ballistic missiles with a range of 300 km; however, due to the current political situation in Croatia, the procurement process has been temporarily put on hold until the next government takes office.
The OSRH’s modernisation is outlined in the Long-Term Development Plan of the Croatian Armed Forces (2015-2024), adopted by the Sabor in December 2014. The document states that €6.25 billion is earmarked for the OSRH for the above period; therefore, the OSRH has an average annual budget of €560 million. The plan was prepared in line with NATO standards and under the assumption of keeping the current rate of defence spending through 2018, followed by slight continuous growth until 2024. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of professional soldiers to 15,000 and implement a balanced modernisation of all three branches (i.e. air, ground and sea) of the OSRH…