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    Croatian Military May Participate in Helicopter 'Swap'

    The government of Croatia may participate in a proposed helicopter swap which was discussed during a meeting in August between high-ranking Croatian defense staff and a delegation from the US House of Representatives.

    The goal is to offer the Ukraine near-term assistance, while bringing Croatian forces into closer alignment with NATO equipment specifications.

    Croatian Air Force Mi-8MTV-1​'s could be making their way to the Ukraine as part of a US military support programme

    Under the deal Croatia’s 14 upgraded Mi-8 MTV-1 helicopters would be given to the Ukraine in exchange for 20 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from US Army stocks. Those helicopters would likely be UH-60L's, rather than the newest UH-60M's. If the deal goes through, the UH-60 Black Hawks would serve beside a smaller force of 10 new Mi-17-1Sh helicopters that entered Croatian service in 2008, and 8 Bell 206B-3 Jet Ranger helicopters used for training and light utility duties.

    Croatia’s Mi-8s should be familiar to the Ukraine, as Sevastopol Aircraft Plant helped the Croatian firm ZTC repair and modernize 6 of them under a July 2013 contract. Most of Croatia’s Mi-8 fleet arrived in the early 1990's and they have received 2 major overhauls during their lifetimes.

    To replace their Mi-8's the Croatian Air Force would be supplied with ex-US Army UH-60L's bringing Croatia's airborne assets into closer alignment with the equipment specifications of NATO forces

    Croatia has been getting a closer look at the Black Hawk’s capabilities thanks to a multinational exercise which took place over Kosovo in July which involved Croatian Mi-17's and American UH-60's. Additionally, on 4th August Croatian Air Force representatives were given the opportunity to fly the UH-60 with the Minnesota’s National Guard as part of their recent exercise 'Vigilant Vortex'.