The Croatian Army has carried out the first live-fire trial of a Spike LR (long range) anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) installed on one of the Croatian Army’s Patria CRO 30L (designated BOV in Croatian service). The Government of the Slovak Republic has announced Patria to be the winner of the tender for BOV 8×8 programme. The October 6 live-fire was part of the Patria 22 exercise that took place at the Josip Markic military training grounds near Knin and Eugen Kvaternik near Slunj. The first launch was carried out under the supervision of instructors from the Polish Armed Forces and the Slovenian Army, and saw the Croatian crew accurately hit the target. Besides the long-range ATGM, armament on the UT30MK2 for Croatia includes the MK44-ABM variant of the 30mm Bushmaster chain gun plus a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.
In 2017, it was announced that Croatia had awarded Elbit System a contract worth $14.9 million to supply the UT30 MK2 with Spike-LR missiles for its fleet of Patria AMV 8x8s originally delivered between 2008 and 2012. The Elbit Systems UT-30 is a dual-axis stabilized unmanned turret designed to turn an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) into an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) with no deck penetration. The UT-30 unmanned turret includes a sensor package and a 30mm gun each of them with its own independent stabilization system. The turrets feature very low silhouette, light weight and a fold-flat capability. The SPIKE-LR is part of a family of Israeli Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which in addition to the Spike-LR includes: light portable Spike-SR with a range up to 1500m, Spike-MR with a range up to 2500m, Spike-ER with a range up to 8000m, Spike-NLOS with a range of 25km.
Patria will supply Slovakia with armoured wheeled vehicles as well as contributes to the creation of new jobs in the regions with currently high unemployment rates. The government decision was based on bids submitted at the end of 2021, as well as vehicle and weapon system tests carried out in February 2022. Patria’s offer was the best match to the requirements. Through BOV 8×8 programme Patria will also contribute to development of the Slovak engineering and defence industry with top-notch experience and innovations. The Croatian Army will get state-of-the-art, modular, high-performance and robust armoured combat Patria AMVXP 8×8 vehicles, which have been used successfully, already decades in different versions in several EU and NATO missions by many customers from NATO and non-NATO countries. BOV 8×8 programme will also influence in regions’ educational opportunities and economy.
In July 2007, the Croatian Ministry of Defence selected the Patria AMV as the new armoured fighting vehicle of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia in their first international tender in its history. 126 units currently entering service, 84 ordered in 2007 and additional 42 in December 2008, first 4 vehicles delivered in December 2008. All vehicles are to be delivered by late 2012. Croatia is likely to order number of new Patria due to requirements for Medium Brigade, up to 42 additional Patria AMV armed with Elbit UT30MK2 turrets could be ordered before 2025, eventually 160 Patria AMV could be in service with the Croatian Army. The government of the Republic of North Macedonia announced in 2006 that it would procure the same type that the Croatian military chooses after test trials in 2007—as this would be a less expensive than conducting trials of their own.