Cooperation between Croatia and the United States will be further strengthened by this project and will be a guarantee for future projects aimed at the development and modernization of the Croatian army, said Defense Minister Mario Banožić. January 27, 2022. Army Recognition has already published information on January 4, 2022 about this project.
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M2A2 ODS Bradley IFV (Image source: US Army)
At its 98th session held on Thursday, January 27, 2022, the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted a decision on the acquisition of SOD Bradley M2A2 infantry fighting vehicles for the equipment needs of the Croatian army and gave approval to the Ministry of Defense from 2023 to 2027 for their acquisition.
The US government’s offer to donate 89 Bradleys, restore and field 62 combat vehicles, and deliver goods and service packages to them was accepted. The total value of Bradley’s infantry fighting vehicle outfit is $196.4 million (excluding VAT).
Defense Minister Mario Banožić said: “As a reliable and responsible member of NATO, the Republic of Croatia will contribute to the achievement of NATO’s capability goals by acquiring Bradleys, and thus to the efforts of deterrence, defense and collective defense of NATO countries. 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 these Bradley combat vehicles,” Banožić emphasized.
Minister Banožić said that these Bradleys are donated by the United States under the Defense Surplus Program on the principle of a complete package including the delivery of vehicles, weapons, ammunition, communications equipment and information, tools and training for maintenance and training.
Stressing that the United States is the most important strategic partner of the Republic of Croatia in the field of defense since the formation of the Croatian army into a modern army and a full member of NATO, Minister Banožić recalled the comprehensive defense cooperation between the two of the countries.
Regarding the financing of the project to purchase Bradley vehicles, Minister Banožić pointed out that the US government has offered a five-year repayment plan according to which, after signing, 50% of the value of the offer will be paid and the rest will be paid by the year according to the deadlines.
“The total value of this project is $196.4 million. After signing the offer and acceptance letters, 50% of the offer value will be paid in advance, i.e. $98.2 million. Of this amount, the United States government is participating with a grant of $51.1 million from its assistance programs, and the Department of Defense will provide an advance of $47 million. of remaining dollars will be paid in advance in accordance with the planned deliveries by years”, explained Minister Banožić who underlined that the Ministry of Defense is obliged to pay VAT on the total amount of the letters of offer and acceptance , as well as on the estimated residual value of donated vehicles.
Financial resources for this year will be provided by the redistribution of funds from the state budget for 2022 in favor of the division of the Ministry of Defense. Payments arising from commitments made from 2023 to 2027 will be included by the Department of Defense in the financial plan for the year in which the commitment expires.
M2A2 ODS Bradley
Introduced in 1988, the A2 received an upgraded 600 horsepower (447 kW) engine with an HMPT-500-3 hydromechanical transmission and upgraded armor (both passive and the ability to mount explosive reactive armour). The new armor protects the Bradley against 30mm APDS shells and RPGs (or similar anti-armour weapons). The new armor also eliminated the trim vane that made the Bradley amphibious and covered the side firing ports. Spaced laminate armor was fitted to the rear of the hull and spaced laminate track skirts protected the lower hull. A semi-circular shield was attached to the rear of the turret to add more storage space and act as spaced armour. Kevlar anti-splinter liners have been added to critical areas. The number of troop carriers was reduced to six, eliminating the position of the periscope behind the driver. After live fire tests, the seating and storage arrangements have been redesigned. These upgrades brought the vehicle’s cumulative gross weight to 30,519 kg (67,282 lb (30,037 long tons; 33,641 short tons)). The M2A2 was qualified to be transported by the C-17 Globemaster III. The M2A2s were all eventually modified to the M2A2 ODS (Operation Desert Storm) or M2A3 standard.
After Operation Desert Storm (first Gulf War in 1991), the M2A2 has again been upgraded with the addition of an eye-safe carbon dioxide laser range finder, global positioning system and compass, combat ID system and thermal viewer for the driver. The 1,423 M2A2 Bradleys upgraded to this standard were called M2A2 ODS (Operation Desert Storm). In August 2018, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) received the fourth and final batch of eight M2A2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) as part of the US military assistance program in Lebanon. In December 2019, the US government announced a plan to donate nearly 60 Bradley M2A2s in Operation Desert Storm (ODS) configuration to Croatia, according to a statement released by Croatian Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic, Kamenjar reports. com.