30 Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicles (the MRAPMaxx Pro for logistic use), donated by the U.S. Government to the Republic of Croatia, were officially taken over in the “Croatia” Barracks in Zagreb on 7 April 2014.
The official ceremony was attended by the Assistant Defence Minister of the Republic of Croatia for Material Resources, Viktor Koprivnjak as Envoy of the Defence Minister, the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Drago Lovrić and the U. S. Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, Kenneth Merten.
The U.S. Government decided on donating 212 MRAP vehicles, of which 162 MRAP M-ATV vehicles (combat terrain vehicle), 29 MRAP HAGA vehicles (for medical purposes) and 30 MaxxPro vehicles.
General Lovrić extended the appreciation to the U.S. Government for the valuable donation, stating that the takeover of the MRAP vehicles was one of its numerous instances of assistance and donations to the Republic of Croatia and its Armed Forces.
“It is another confirmation of the United States of America being the foremost strategic defence partner of the Republic of Croatia”, stressed General Lovrić.
“The MRAP vehicles will provide the ballistic and counter mine protection to the members of the Croatian Armed forces, thereby enhancing operational safety and security of task performance and upgrading the existing capabilities, and thus enable the Croatian Armed Forces respond to new challenges and threats of the unforeseeable future”, concluded General Lovrić.
The U. S. Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, Kenneth Merten gave the priority to the fact that the U.S. and Croatia made a part of the same team over the material value of the donation itself.
“We have been training our soldiers and officers together, participated in operations side-by-side and will now use the same type of equipment”, said the Ambassador.
Sergeant First Class Ivica Gogić shared his experience with operating the MRAP vehicle in ISAF, commending their performance and the utmost protection level ensured to escorted convoy passengers.
The vehicles have been assigned to the Croatian Army, Support Command and Special Operations Battalion respectively, and are intended for combat operations of smaller scale, in urban and restricted environments including patrolling, convoy securing, recce, MEDEVAC, transportation of personnel and cargo and command vehicle.
The MRAP vehicles weigh cca 1 tons, and their length is 6. 8 m, the width 2.7 m and the height 3.3 m respectively, and the average consumption totals 50 l/100 km.