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Croatian Defence Ministry to Procure Spike Anti-tank Missiles and Patria Armored Vehicles

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Croatian Defence Ministry to Procure Spike Anti-tank Missiles and Patria Armored Vehicles

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Croatian Army Completes Spike LR Anti-tank Guided Missile Live-Fire from Patria 8×8
Croatian Army Completes Spike LR Anti-tank Guided Missile Live-Fire from Patria 8×8

The Croatian parliament’s Defence Committee backed the government’s planned purchase of SPIKE LR2 anti-tank guided missiles, Patria armoured vehicles and rigid inflatable boats (RIB) and to modernise the radar system and upgrade the combat communications system of the Croatian Air Force (HRZ). The value of the project to procure SPIKE missiles was slightly more than €11 million, that Patria vehicles would cost slightly more than €158 million, and that rigid inflatable boats were a donation from the US worth €5 million. The value of the project to modernise the radar system is around €45 million. For the radar system the period in question is two years, and the project to procure SPIKE missiles will be slightly shorter.

Croatian Army’s Patria CRO 30L
Croatian Army’s BOV Patria CRO 30L armoured vehicle with UT30 MK2 and Spike-LR missiles. (Photo by Croatian Defense Ministry)

Patria armoured vehicles will be procured by 2028 and the procurement period for RIBs will be shorter, noting that budget funding would be secured accordingly. SPIKE long-range missiles would be integrated with the Patria armoured personnel carriers. The plan is to procure an additional 30 Patria vehicles of different versions. The procurement of both Patria vehicles and SPIKE missiles is important to achieve full operational capability for anti-armour warfare and NATO capability objectives. The Croatian Army has carried out the first live-fire trial of a Spike LR (long range) anti-tank guided missile installed on one of the Croatian Army’s Patria CRO 30L armored vehicles (BOV).

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Croatian Army’s Patria CRO 30L
Croatian Army’s BOV Patria CRO 30L armoured vehicle with UT30 MK2 and Spike-LR missiles. (Photo by Croatian Defense Ministry)

The Patria AMV (Armored Modular Vehicle) is an 8×8 multi-role military vehicle produced by the Finnish defence industry company Patria. The main feature of the AMV is its modular design, which allows the incorporation of different turrets, weapons, sensors, or communications systems on the same carriage. In July 2007, the Croatian Ministry of Defence selected the Patria AMV as the new armoured fighting vehicle of the Armed Forces. 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 army. In March 2023, Croatia ordered an additional 30 Patria AMV outfitted with for use with Spike LR missiles.

Croatian Army’s Patria CRO 30L
Croatian Army’s BOV Patria CRO 30L armoured vehicle with UT30 MK2 and Spike-LR missiles. (Photo by Croatian Defense Ministry)

Spike anti-tank guided missile was developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Spike LR2 (Gil-2) is a new generation of the original long range version Spike. The range increased to 5.5 km. Furthermore when fired from helicopter this missile has a range up to 10 km using a datalink. It has a tandem HEAT warhead which offers 30% increased armor penetration. Croatia has ordered 20 Spike LR2 launchers for its Patria AMV armored vehicles. However this is initial order, talks of 80 to 100 additional launchers for 31 brand new Patria IFVs that are on order and to join Croatian Army from 2023 to 2026. There is no indication if Croatia will purchase Spike MR or SR for its infantry formations. Croatia ordered 200 Spike LR2 missiles initially for $1.25 million.

Croatian Army Completes Spike LR Anti-tank Guided Missile Live-Fire from Patria 8×8
Croatian Army’s BOV Patria CRO 30L armoured vehicle with UT30 MK2 and Spike-LR missiles. (Photo by Croatian Defense Ministry)

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