Croatia’s Defence Industry Shows Unexpected Strength

Total Croatia News

Last year was exceptionally good for Croatian military exporters.

Croatian military industry had a stellar 2015. According to the annual report published by the Ministry of Economy, exports of weapons and military goods increased significantly last year compared to 2014. They were almost 37 percent higher, reports Večernji List on April 21, 2016.

Last year, Croatia exported weapons and related military goods worth more than 102 million euros, not taking into account nearly 32 million euros which were earned through the overhaul of two foreign military ships. Exports of other services, such as transportation and intermediary services, also increased so the total military industry exports amounted to more than a billion kuna, or almost 140 million euros.

Croatian defence industry has been recoding high growth rates for a number of years, except in 2014 when there was a decline. For example, in 2011, Croatia exported weapons and military equipment worth 63 million dollars. In 2012, exports climbed to 90 million dollars, while in 2013 they reached 142 million dollars. So, 2015 was the record year for Croatian military exporters, since exports exceeded 150 million dollars.

Such good results were achieved due to the breakthrough in military overhaul of foreign warships. Viktor Lenac Shipyard completed overhaul of USS Mount Whitney, the command ship of the American Sixth Fleet, and the next upgrade of the ship will probably also take place at the shipyard later this year. The value of the overhaul amounted to approximately 21 million dollars, and the similar amount was earned through the overhaul of another American warship.

However, the first place among Croatian military exporters as usual belonged to HS-Produkt from Karlovac, which exported more than 400,000 handguns, mainly to the United States. Also, about 15,000 VHS assault rifles were exported to Iraq. Earlier, HS products regularly accounted for as much as 80 or 90 percent of the total Croatian military exports, but this was not the case in 2015, when the company’s share dropped to between 60 and 70 percent.

According to the Croatian Chamber of Economy, the list of top exporters includes DOK-ING (demining machines and fire extinguishers), Šestan-Busch (combat helmets, protective suits, military and special equipment), Čateks (fabrics for special military and police purposes), Varteks (uniforms), Galeb (specialized underwear), Kroko International (military and police uniforms and protective vests), Inkop (military and police boots), and Adria Mar Shipbuilding (design, construction and overhaul of military ships and special purpose boats).


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