WARSAW, Poland — Croatia has signed a letter of acceptance with the United States to purchase eight UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the country’s armed forces.

Under the deal, the U.S. government will cover 51% of the contract’s value, while the remainder will be covered by Croatia in the years 2025 to 2027, the Croatian Ministry of Defence said in a statement. Zagreb will spend more than US $273.8 million on the acquisition.

In January 2024, the U.S. State Department approved a Foreign Military Sale of helos and related gear and services to Croatia for an estimated cost of $500 million. Deliveries of the copters are expected to be completed in 2028, according to the Croatian ministry’s statement.

“This is a big and important moment for the [Croatian] Armed Forces, and for the whole of Croatia,” said Ivan Anušić, Croatia’s deputy prime minister and defense minister who took part in the official signing ceremony on March 13. “I will continue to deepen the ties and cooperation with the United States of America, and I hope that we will cooperate on a number of other large projects.”

Owing to the latest contract, the Croatian military will be able to bring its Black Hawk fleet to a total of 12 twin-engine, medium-lift helos.

Alongside many other allies in the region, Croatia has intensified efforts to modernize its armed forces in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For this year, Zagreb plans to spend some €1.17 billion ($1.28 billion) on defense, an increase of about 11% compared with 2023, according to data from the defense ministry.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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