The Croatian government has approved the procurement of second-hand Bradley M2A2 infantry fighting vehicles for the Croatian Army under a deal worth $196.4 million.
The approved buy will include funding for returning of 62 of the overall 89 Bradley vehicles to an operational status. The rest are to be used for spares, while five vehicles will be used for training.
Croatia’s defense ministry said the vehicles are expected to be delivered between 2023 and 2027.
The deal that was approved on January 27 followed the US State Department’s approval for the modernization and delivery of 76 M2A2 Operation Desert Storm Bradley fighting vehicles to Croatia for an estimated $757 million in December 2020. The US first offered Bradleys to Croatia in 2017.
“As a reliable and responsible member of NATO, the Republic of Croatia will contribute to the fulfillment of NATO’s capability goals by acquiring Bradley vehicles, and thus to the efforts of deterrence and defense and collective defense of NATO. In addition to confirming the strategic cooperation with our American partners, the value of this project is that the company Đuro Đaković Special Vehicles will be involved in the maintenance of Bradley combat vehicles,” Croatia’s defense minister Mario Banožić.
Minister Banožić added that Bradley vehicles were donated by the United States from the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program on the principle of a total package that includes the delivery of vehicles, weapons, ammunition, communication and information equipment, tools and training.
“The United States is pleased to provide our close ally and partner Croatia with these vehicles, which will be refurbished and equipped with the support of US funding. Croatia’s Bradley program is a joint investment in our shared security,” the US embassy in Croatia said.
Regarding the financing of the Bradley vehicle procurement project, Banožić pointed out that the US government offered a five-year repayment plan according to which 50 percent of the bid value would be paid after the contract signing. The rest of the payment would be distributed according to deadlines. The US is contributing $51.1 million for the procurement.
First introduced to the US Army in 1982, the Bradley fleet is 2,000-strong with more than 500 being the same variant as those offered to Croatia. These are the same model in use by the Minnesota National Guard, whose close cooperation with Croatia through the State Partnership Program (SPP) spans 25 years. The Minnesota National Guard will help Croatia integrate, train, and maintain the Bradley capability through long-term SPP initiatives together with the Croatian Armed Forces.