Croatian lawmakers back new armored vehicles, Spike anti-tank missiles

WARSAW, Poland — The Croatian parliament’s Defence Committee backed the government’s planned purchase of 30 new Patria eight-wheel-drive armored modular vehicles and an undisclosed number of Spike LR anti-tank guided missiles.

The two envisioned purchases are part of a €219 million ($235 million) package proposed by the country’s Ministry of Defence. The committee’s decision paves the way for consideration by the Sabor, the nation’s unicameral parliament.

The vehicle and missile purchases are important for ensuring the country’s army can reach the required operational capabilities with regards to anti-armor combat and comply with Croatia’s commitments to NATO, Croatian Defence Minister Mario Banožić said, as reported by local news agency HINA.

The vehicles are expected to be delivered by 2028, and they will be fitted with Spike LR missiles, he said. The AMVs will expand the Croatian military’s fleet of 126 vehicles manufactured by the Finnish group.

As a result of its accession to the Germany-led NATO Framework Nations Concept in 2017, Croatia vowed to contribute a motorized infantry battalion to the allied effort and joined the joint fire support development cluster, among other efforts, the country’s ministry said in a statement.

In addition to the two planned procurements, the ministry has also secured the parliamentary committee’s backing for its plans to upgrade the military’s radars and the air force’s communications systems. The ministry was also approved to secure a donation of rigid inflatable boats from the United States for which it would be required to pay only the Croatian value-added tax.