The US has delivered two 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.
The recent donation will contribute to the Balkan nation’s growing defense capabilities and military preparedness amid emerging threats, according to the US Embassy in Zagreb.
The Black Hawks are capable of a range of military missions, including special operations, tactical troop transport, and medical evacuation.
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.
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.
US Chargé d’Affaires Mark Fleming expressed that the multimillion-dollar donation proves Croatia has earned a reputation as a “committed and capable” NATO ally.
He stated that the introduction of Black Hawks into the Croatian armed forces would further boost the country’s air defense capabilities, enhance regional security, and bolster its support for NATO.
Croatian defense minister Mario Banožić expressed the country’s gratitude for the donation by the US, which he described as a “strategic partner.”
He explained that the new aircraft will replace the country’s existing helicopters produced in the east and mark the beginning of Croatia’s transfer to western technology.
“The Croatian Armed Forces will, with these powerful helicopters, acquire new capabilities and increase our level of interoperability,” Banožić explained.
“I thank the United States Government for this donation. It represents evidence of strong, friendly and allied relations, which are progressing every year.”