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Croatia - Defense Industry

Shipyards/Naval Equipment
Kraljevica Shipyard Ltd.
Sibenik Shipyards
Shipyard Greben
Pomorski Centar za Elektroniku
Radio Equipment
RIZ-Transmitters Co.
Research and Development
Institut Rudjer Boskovic
Brodarski Institut
Small Arms/Equipment
Elmech Razvoj
IM Metal
Sestan Busch
Tanks/Heavy Weapons
uro akovic
Uniforms and Equipment
Croatia continuing to transform its military to a modern, western trained and equipped force tied to the security institutions of the West. This transition process included reorganization of the armed forces towards NATO compatible doctrine and interoperability, reduction of active duty personnel and modernization of the armed forces. To accomplish its modernization goals, the Croatian Ministry of Defense (MOD) developed a modernization plan. In general, equipping and modernization will be accomplished by first upgrading existing equipment (as long as it can meet NATO standards) and secondly through domestic production of arms and equipment. What the MOD cannot acquire from domestic sources they will seek to acquire through foreign purchase.

During the Croatian War for Independence (Homeland War) between 1991-1995, a UN arms embargo prevented Croatia from buying western technology, equipment, and arms. As a result during the war, Croatia was required to supply its forces by domestic arms production and acquisition on the open market. The Homeland War and UN arms embargo resulted in Croatia developing a relatively capable and innovative domestic defense industry which has proven itself in wartime, and which is capable of producing good land-based defense systems. In particular, Croatian defense industry has the capability to produce tanks, armored vehicles, mortars and mortar shells, artillery shells, small naval vessels, and various small arms. Some of these capabilities were inherited from the former Yugoslavia after the break-up, but most were developed once war broke out. Today, Croatian Defense Industry, which was heavily subsidized during the war, is struggling to stay viable and many companies have diversified to include producing commercial products.

The Croatian defence industry has the task of maintaining Croatias defense potential and improving the military capabilities of its Armed Forces. That is why Croatian arms and military equipment producers put significant efforts in order to produce products which are of great quality as well as competitive. Some producers come from a long tradition in this industry whereas most of them have developed their production based on their previous work connected with civilian needs. This has been done out of necessity and urge to defend the Republic of Croatia during the Homeland War.

For centuries Croatia had a rich military tradition and experience in production of weapons. Already in the IX th century Croatian early prince Domagoj s bowmen were known for their light and manoeuvrable boats, and represented fearful naval force of that time controling the Adriatic Sea coastal areas. The oldest Croatian Naval shipyard Kraljevica was established in the early XVIII th century and remained in function until present days. In the XVII th century a scholar Faust Vrancic invented parachute and performed the first parachute jump.

In XIX th century Ivan Lupis-Vukic invented first topedo in Rijeka, where the production factory was founded some years later. The rich tradition of the Croatian inventive spirit reflects itself in recent history, when in the factory Djuro Djakovic has produced a Main Battle Tank type M-84 of excellent performances and Anti-aircraft Missile S-10 CRO was produced in factory Rade Koncar.

After the combat activities in Croatia had finished, the producers who had created competitive products of good quality continued manufacturing arms and military equipment. Keeping up with the development of defence products and technology, Croatian manufacturers have been perfecting their products on a regular basis and developing new ones following global standards and trends. Today, they are becoming respected arms and military equipment producers that have proven their capabilities in Croatia and abroad. Croatian defence industrys export activities are increasing each year, while following all the regulation in military equipment export control.

The company Borovo Gumitrade Ltd. has been operating since 2003 as a trading company. It was established by integration of all production activities and trade of rubber products and rubber fabrics; their long tradition is the best evidence of their quality. Borovo Gumitrade has been producing transmission/driving belts and various rubbertechnical goods for over 60 years, and the tradition of producing rubber footwear (working, protective, sports and civilian) is 75 years old. That 25 years old production of goods for ballistic and nuclear-biological-chemical (NBC) protection, is especially interesting to the army and police.

Factury HS Product designed, produced and sold more than 1 million pieces of world class Semi Automatic Pistols type HS or XD, factory Sestan Busch more than 300 000 pcs. of Anti-ballistic Helmets, other producers such as companies Metallic and Promrad exported Hand Granade Launcher RBG-6 and Sniper Rifle 20 mm, Company DOK-ING various de-maining machines, shipyards Kraljevica, Greben and company Adria-mar various types of patrol boats, fast missile corvettes, mine sweepers, transport boats. etc.

HS Produkt is a world famous company that manufactures pistols and is one of the best examples of how Croatia can, to a large extent, contribute to the development of the economy, especially when it is a question of companies that manufacture military equipment and armament. They modestly began with the workmanship and production of pistols in 1991, at the time when Croatia was in the grip of war, with an insufficient number of machines and expert labour force. Yet, they managed to produce very quickly the first Croatian pistol PHP. At the very beginning, the only buyer of PHP was the Croatian Ministry of Defense. Since they were buying their product and provided them with expert help, the Croatian Ministry of Defense helped them develop and upgrade production. Very quickly, by 1995, they produced the pistol HS 95. According to its features, their second pistol was already competitive as compared to other pistols that could be found on the worlds market. After great success in the USA, the pistol HS 2000, denoted by the name of HS in 2005 (it is manufactured in over 50 models) has entered several armies and police forces in the world as official weapons, including the USA and Croatia.

Herein before mentioned products were exported to USA, Argentina, Austria, Switzerland, UAE, Kuwait, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and some other countries. In recent years Croatian export of defence equipment has been growing steadily and exceeds $300,000,000. Accomplishments of experts, learnt experience and skilled labour are guarantee of high quality standards implemented in Croatian defence industry, which is confirmed by effected exports to the most prestigious markets of develeped countries. Croatian constructors and inventors are inexhaustible source of new original solutions and that makes our products competitive and successfull in the world.

An Affiliation of Producers of Special Purpose Resources was established at the Croatian Chamber of Economy in 2003 and gathers around forty Croatian companies producing arms and military equipment. This is a place of information exchange among the members, as well as a place where joint positions are being created to enable joint participation in domestic and international tenders.

Alan Agency is an agency of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, established for import and export of defence equipment. By establishing Alan Agency the Government of the Republic of Croatia remained strict to the implementation of its transparent policy, by insisting to keep the defence equipment trade transparent and in accordance with the adopted international obligations. Alan Agencys main task is to create material conditions for increasing efficiency of the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia. With its performance, Alan Agency searches for optimal ways of exploiting financial resources for purchase of defence equipment. Alan Agency constitutes the meeting point for producers and potential international buyers of armament and military products. Alan Agency acts as an agent in contracting, technology transfer and international technical co-operation regarding armament.

ALAN Agency is a limited liability government-owned company established for import and export of defense equipment and additional supervision of the defense equipment production for export. ALAN Agency activities are based on the Code on production, overhaul and trade of weapons and military equipment and includes:

  • Supervision of weapon and military equipment production
  • Import and export of weapons and military equipment for Armed Forces and Police Department
  • Sale of Armed Forces surpluses
  • Central data base of import and export of weapons and military equipment
  • Controlling the production of weapons and military equipment for export, by issuing the approval for production to the Croatian producers
  • Negotiating and stipulating contracts with foreign buyers for export deliveries
  • Import and export of weapons and military equipment for commercial purposes
  • Consulting, marketing and market research of production and trade of defense equipment
  • Offset arrangements specialist for production and trade of defense equipment
In late 2004, the Ministries of Economy and Defense agreed to introduce offsets (a requirement for local sourcing of a portion of the contract) for defense procurements over 2 million euros. More information on the application and regulation of the offset program can be found at The Investment Promotion Act (IPA) offers potentially significant incentives to investors, such as tax advantages (reduction of the statutory profit tax), tariff references, aid to cover eligible costs of the job creation linked to an investment, aid to cover eligible costs of training linked to an investment, incentive measures for the establishment and development of technology and innovation centers. The IPA also provides for strategic business support services and incentive measures for large investment projects of significant economic interest.

Adriatic Sea Defense & Security Exhibition [ASDA] is an International tri-service defense Exhibition and Conference dedicated to Defense, Aerospace, Homeland Security and Safety & Security, being supported by and held at Split. ASDA 2013 is officially supported by the Croatian Government through: Ministry of Defense. Adriatic Sea Defense & Security Exhibition & Conference-2011 was organized by TNT Productions, Inc., a specialized international exhibition organizer. Adriatic Sea Defense & Security Exhibition & Conference-2011 is business-to-business event. To ensure a top quality visitor attendance, government, military and commercial delegations were invited from throughout the South Eastern European Region, with particular focus on Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania and Macedonia.

ASDA 2011 was an opportunity to present numerous Croatian defense industry companies. DOK-ING, de-mining and firefighting machines producer is one of them. They export their products to more than 30 countries. There is also Duro Dakovic Specijalna vozila, a company that builds AMV 8x8 vehicle in cooperation with the Finnish Patria. These vehicles are being built for the Croatian Armed Forces. In addition, HS Produkt, manufacturer of the worldwide famous HS pistol and the new NATO standardized VHS assault rifle is participating.

Another Croatian company at the exhibition was estan-Busch, a company whose protective helmets are being used in over 25 countries. Adria-mar Shipyard which specializes in design, construction and repair of naval vessels and special purposes vessels and the equipment used on them also participated. There were a number of other Croatian companies at ASDA 2011, including Brodarski Institute which presented their project of a reduced vibrations fast ship.

A number of procurement projects are either ongoing or are at the planning stage, which could see the acquisition of defence equipment from Western suppliers. For example, the Armys Infantry Fighting Vehicle fleet is being enhanced with the supply of new vehicles, while the service is also acquiring new light vehicle. In terms of armaments, the Army has an outstanding requirement for a new 155mm self-propelled artillery system, new assault rifles, and is acquiring machineguns and night vision systems. The Armys logistics fleet is being enhanced with new trucks and jeeps. A number of outstanding requirements also exist for the army, including new heavy equipment transporters, communications systems, air surveillance radar and weapons-locating radar.

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