Ten months after the previous delivery, the Croatian Ministry of Defence has taken delivery of another pair of Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.
On 3 December 2022, a US Air Force C-17A Globemaster III delivered two Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to Zagreb airport (Croatia) for use with the Hrvatske Zračne Snage (Croatian Air Force). The UH-60Ms were identified as 232 and 233.
Croatia bought four Black Hawks in 2018, two of them were donated by the US Government and delivered in February. At the hand-over ceremony, Croatia's defence minister, Mario Banožić, said the ideal number of Black Hawks would be twelve, adding that he believed that the number would be achieved, hinting at the acquisition of another eight units.
Early May 2022, the first two UH-60Ms entered service with the Croatian Air Force. The new helicopters will further increase the capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces, performing transport, border security, combating terrorism, medical evacuation, search and rescue, logistic replenishment and combat support.
The defence minister further said the Ministry of Defence (MoD) would continue work on replacing helicopters of Soviet origin with Western ones. The Mi-171 and Mi-8MTV transport helicopters will have to be phased out by 2024, as they will be reaching the end of their service life. Russian-made spare parts are a problem in light of Russia’s actions in Ukraine this year and Western sanctions on Russian exports.
Photo via US Embassy Croatia