The Croatian defense ministry has received second Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters from the United States government, the country’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 3 December. The delivery of helicopters was flown into the capital aboard a US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III airlifter. The helicopters arrived at the Franjo Tudman airport in Zagreb, bringing the total number of Black Hawks in Croatian Armed Forces service to five. The recent donation will contribute to the Balkan nation’s growing defense capabilities and military preparedness amid emerging threats.
The United States government has delivered UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters worth 360 million Croatian kuna ($54.8 million) to Croatia, which is currently involved in a small arms race with neighboring Russian ally Serbia. With the arrival of the aircraft, the embassy revealed that US military assistance to Croatia has reached 4.5 billion kuna ($685 million) in equipment, training, and infrastructure construction. Croatia’s incorporation of the American helicopters builds on the two nations’ ongoing military cooperation, along with the European country’s upcoming procurement of Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
The Minnesota National Guard, through Croatia’s State Partnership Program with the U.S. State of Minnesota, is further supporting Croatian Black Hawk capabilities with military exchanges focused on best practices in operating Black Hawks in the field. Croatia’s first Black Hawk crew recently flew together with Minnesota National Guard counterparts to develop key operational skills. From tactical army vehicles to Kiowa Warrior and Black Hawk helicopters, the Minnesota National Guard remains fully committed to advancing Croatian capacity using U.S. weapons systems and partnering in other important fields of engagement including cyber initiatives.
The Black Hawk provides capabilities across a range of possible missions, from special operations to tactical troop transport to aeromedical evacuation. The introduction of the Black Hawk UH-60M model enhances the capacity of the Croatian Armed Forces to address these various operational demands. As the most modern variant of the Black Hawk helicopter, improved design wide chord rotor blades, T700-GE-701D engines (max 2,000 shp or 1,500 kW each), improved durability gearbox, Integrated Vehicle Health Management System (IVHMS) computer, and new glass cockpit. Production began in 2006. Planned to replace older U.S. Army UH-60s.
Croatia’s procurement and U.S. delivery of two more #UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters marks another joint investment in our collective defense. We are Allies working together to ensure Croatia has the equipment required to advance its own and our shared security. #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/rBphIWdFlX
— Chargé d’Affaires Fleming (@USAmbCroatia) December 3, 2022