ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia has reached an agreement with the United States to buy 89 Bradley vehicles as part of cooperation with Washington and plans as a member of NATO to form an infantry brigade, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said Wednesday.
Croatia’s government is expected to formally endorse the $196 million (173 million-euro) deal at a session on Thursday. Plenkovic said the price includes an American donation of $51 million (45 million euros).
“This is a confirmation of good cooperation and I believe that in this way, we have added another piece to the mosaic of our cooperation,” Plenkovic told reporters. “The Croatian army will achieve a new level of quality.”
Croatia has been negotiating the purchase of U.S. Bradley M2A2 infantry fighting vehicles since 2017. Croatia will receive 62 fighting vehicles, 22 vehicles for reserve parts and five training vehicles.
Plenkovic said they will starting arriving in 2023 and will be serviced in Croatia in the future.
“I think we made a good deal with the American side,” Plenkovic said.
Croatia also purchased 12 Rafale fighter jets last year from France. Croatia, which is a member of NATO and the European Union, is in a mini arms race with neighboring Russian ally Serbia amid simmering tensions in the post-war Balkan region.