A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flies a Humvee during sling load training. (US Army)
WARSAW — The Croatian Ministry of Defense has announced plans to acquire 20 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the US military, and provide 14 of its Mil Mi-8MTV-1 transport helos to Ukraine’s armed forces to support Kiev’s ongoing military operation against Russia-backed separatists in the country’s eastern part.
The initiative was discussed by Croatian government officials and US congressmen in Zagreb this month, reported local daily Jutarnji List.
The potential acquisition of Black Hawks by Croatia and the related supply of transport helos to Ukraine will be further discussed in September, when Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, is scheduled to visit Croatia to attend a military exercise in Slunj.
Under the plan, in addition to the copters, the US military will provide the Croatian Air Force with logistics support, training for pilots and technicians, as well as spare parts for the aircraft.
Croatia’s armed forces operate a helo fleet consisting of 14 Mi-8MTV-1 helos and 10 Mi-171Sh copters. The aircraft are a design of Russia’s Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant. The copters were built at state-run Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant and the Kazan Helicopters facility, which are part of the Russian Helicopters group. ■