BMI’s Croatia Defence and Security Report examine the military and security posture of this Balkans nation. The report has been written to provide a comprehensive overview of the security challenges faced by Croatia both now, and in the future. Several facets of Croatia’s defence and security posture are examined by the report including its defence procurement processes, military posture and strategic risks. The report posits that, despite the current financial challenges faced by the country, Croatia is continuing on a path of military modernization.
The Croatian armed forces are continuing the reform process that began in 2006. As of 2012, they are beyond the halfway point of this initiative, and have enacted some important reforms, not least of which is the professionalization of the country’s armed forces. The Army remains Croatia’s dominant means of power projection; with the navy performing a coastal defence and logistics role, and the air force assisting in the logistics mission, alongside its traditional mission of defending the country’s airspace.
For the time being, Croatia’s deployment to Afghanistan remains the country’s largest overseas mission, occupying up to 300 personnel to this end. Zagreb is expected to retain its deployment in Afghanistan until NATO begins to reduce its troop numbers in the country in the 2014/2015 timeframe. Beyond Afghanistan, Croatia remains committed to a number of other NATO operations, notably in the Balkans; and UN peacekeeping deployments around the world, deploying small numbers of personnel to this end.
A number of procurement projects are either ongoing or are at the planning stage, which could see the acquisition of defence equipment from Western suppliers. For example, the Army’s Infantry Fighting Vehicle fleet is being enhanced with the supply of new vehicles, while the service is also acquiring new light vehicle. In terms of armaments, the Army has an outstanding requirement for a new 155mm self-propelled artillery system, new assault rifles, and is acquiring machineguns and night vision systems. The Army’s logistics fleet is being enhanced with new trucks and jeeps. A number of outstanding requirements also exist for the army, including new heavy equipment transporters, communications systems, air surveillance radar and weapons-locating radar.
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