Israel’s Elbit Wants to Build Ammunition Factory in Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

The Israeli Elbit company wants to build in Croatia in the name of closer cooperation.

At three different production locations, Elbit welcomed a delegation from the Croatian Ministry of Defense, as well as Croatian journalists.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Renata Rasovic writes on the 11th of April, 2018, on several occasions, the Croatian Ministry of Defense has been told that the procurement plan of the Israeli F-16 fighter aircraft, a move which has been met with several raised eyebrows and considerable controversy, opens up numerous opportunities for future potential industrial cooperation between the two countries, a subject on which more concrete outlines have been gradually being drawn.

After Croatian pilot Zeljko Ninić tested the F-16 in Israel on Monday, the Croatian delegation was hosted by Elbit’s senior representatives at three locations, the Israeli company is at an impressive number 26 on the list of the world’s largest military and industrial manufacturers. It is also one of the major Israeli military suppliers and is currently cooperating with the armies of fifty countries.

This company, with its team of 12,500 employees, expressed its interest in strategic investment in the construction of a munitions factory in the Republic of Croatia. A munitions factory is something Croatia does not yet have and a potential partner in this field could possibly be HS Produkt. Elbit also expressed its interest in strategic partnership, in strengthening the Pilot School in Zadar. The Israelis would, in theory, invest in partnership with the Aeronautical-Technical Centre in Velika Gorica near Zagreb, enabling the centre to enter into new commercial maintenance operations. The possibility of establishing a regional cyber ​​security centre has also been announced.

At the production facility in Netanyi, Croatian journalists and representatives of the Croatian Ministry of Defense were presented with radio communication and integrated combat systems, cyber security systems and some of the most advanced electronic military equipment around today. The pride of the company is a flight simulator, which later turned into an F-16 simulator. In Haifa, however, the representatives and journalists were shown the products coming out of Elbit’s airline department, which annually sells 1 billion dollars worth of equipment and parts, and deals with maintenance and upgrades on both eastern and western planes, alongside helicopters and combat aircraft such as Su-25, Mirage 2000 and of course, Croatia’s recently purchased F-16.

The company is particularly proud of the development of pilot helmets built into the aircraft systems.

In addition to the onset of the rebuilding of Croatia’s defense aviation, the additional positive effect through direct and indirect investments has been recognised. The potential is there, and the opening of about 800 new jobs throughout Croatia, with a potential 3-4 billion kuna mainly in export revenues over the next decade are realistic possibilities on offer through the means of deeper mutual cooperation.


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