Djuro Djakovic company from Croatia proposes help to repair Ukrainian Soviet-era tanks

During the recent NATO defense sector meeting in Brussels, Croatia's Djuro Djakovic company showcased its expertise in producing and repairing T-72 and M-84 tanks, which are extensively used by Ukraine, as reported by Vuk Tesija in Balkan Insight.
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Croatian M-84 (T-72) Main Battle Tanks in 2015 (Picture source: Wikipédia)

The gathering in Brussels brought together defense ministers from NATO states and representatives of 25 defense industry companies, including Djuro Djakovic. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the enhancement of military support for Ukraine. Croatian Minister of Defense Mario Banozic, who participated in the two-day meeting, expressed satisfaction that one of the companies present was from Croatia. In an interview with the Croatian News Agency, HINA, he highlighted Djuro Djakovic's ability to contribute with its knowledge and capabilities in maintaining Soviet-made tanks, which are still widely utilized in Ukraine, as well as maintaining Patria armored vehicles.

Djuro Djakovic has been engaged in the production of T-72 tanks, and a more advanced version of the M-84, since the 1980s. The T-72, in its various variants, has been the primary tank model in Ukraine since the dissolution of the USSR.

In addition to manufacturing Soviet-era tanks, Djuro Djakovic also adapts these tanks to meet NATO standards. Their website states that Djuro Djakovic Special Vehicles offers development, production, and integration services for new-generation NATO interoperable systems, designed to enhance existing M-84/T-72 tanks and ensure compatibility and interoperability between new and improved tanks.

Minister Banozic expressed regret that Croatia is not participating in the EU mission to train Ukrainian soldiers, a decision vetoed by President Zoran Milanovic due to his ongoing conflicts with the Croatian government. Banozic highlighted that Croatia was prepared to train engineering units for mine action, which is a major concern for Ukrainian forces.

During the meeting, representatives from the US company BAE Systems, the manufacturer of Bradley armored vehicles, were also present. They announced that an agreement would be signed next month for the donation of vehicles to Croatia. Banozic stated that the American company is willing to provide an opportunity to Djuro Djakovic, and he anticipates the contract to be finalized soon. He further mentioned that Djuro Djakovic, based in Slavonski Brod, will become a regional hub for the maintenance of these vehicles. Banozic concluded by emphasizing that NATO's invitation to Djuro Djakovic demonstrates the recognition of the Croatian defense industry's quality. The company's extensive experience in maintaining older systems like tanks, as well as newer ones like Patria vehicles, has been acknowledged. Additionally, Croatia is in the process of acquiring Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

Defense News June 2023