The U.S. Government plans to donate almost 60 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles in ODS (Operation Desert Storm) configuration to Croatia, according to a statement issued by Croatian Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic.
“The United States has accepted an offer to donate 60 Bradley fighting vehicles to complete heavy infantry battalion with another 24 vehicles for spares,” Krsticevic said during the international defense conference of Jutarnji List and the Ministry of Defense entitled “The future of the Croatian defense industry and new technologies”.
The Kamenjar.com has reported that this is the first time that Minister Krsticevic has officially spoken about the Bradley project after more than a year of negotiations with the US.
The defense minister also added that the selected Bradley vehicles, which will be donated to the Croatian Army, are in extremely good condition and that Croatia will need to invest between $ 2 million and $ 5 million per vehicle in refreshing and later modernizing them. Currently, the excess Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles have in long-term storage at the U.S. Army.
The minister also confirmed that Croatia has agreed to participate in the new ERIP, a State Department program through which the US assists its allies in the transition from eastern to western military technology.
Through ERIP, Croatia receives $ 25 million for the Bradley program. With the implementation of this project, Croatia would also fulfill the program of capacity building within NATO.
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle, manufactured by the BAE Systems, is a combat-proven platform that provides outstanding survivability, mobility, and lethality and is an integral part of the U.S. Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT).
BAE Systems has acted as the manufacturer and systems integrator of the Bradley program for over 30 years, including conducting various upgrades based on customer needs and mission requirements.
According to earlier media reports, UK-headquartered BAE Systems is interested in entering Croatian Djuro Djakovic’s ownership structure, planning to support and upgrade Eastern Europe Bradley fighting vehicle fleet.
The M2A2 Bradley is armed with an ATK Gun Systems Company M242 25 mm Bushmaster Chain Gun with a 7.62 mm M240C machine gun mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament. A total of eight smoke grenade launchers are mounted on the forward part of the turret, four to each side of the main armament. The Javelin anti-tank missile replaced the earlier Dragon in the M2A2 restow, and five TOWs or three TOWs and two Javelins could be carried.