State organizations and entities of Bosnia-Herzegovina plan to acquire nine new helicopters from Italy, Russia and the United States over the next three years. Of these, four are UH-1H-II Huey II intended for the BiH Armed Forces, three are Ansat for the Republika Srpska (RS) police, one AW119 for the RS Helicopter Service and one Bell 412 for the Canton of Sarajevo Police.
The total amount of about 75 million euros will be partly paid through donations and partly from the budget of BiH and RS.
A firm contract for four Hughs II was signed on December 13, with the Pentagon agreed to procure four copies within three years. The value of the contract is USD 38,539,378, of which the largest part of the money is US donation, and the contribution from the BiH budget is USD 4,36 million.
The contract, in accordance with the usual procedure for Pentagon jobs, also includes training for pilots and technicians, spare parts and consumables for the first two years, according to a budget, that 300 hours of annual flight per instance will be achieved, according to the Balkan Security Network.
Of the 14 helicopters now only up to four are flying in BiH, these are obsolete machines used in the U.S. Army Air Force during the Vietnam War.
By the time of the signing of the contract for the procurement of Hjuia II, the BiH Ministry of Defense was very quiet and did not provide any official information.
The Balkan Security Network recalls that the BiH Armed Forces are officially multinational, but also notes that the relations are very complex, which is confirmed by the decision in the current Defense Review to form a third aviation unit in Mostar, which can be assumed to be majority occupied by Croats.
The RS has launched a procurement procedure for three Russian Ansat helicopters for police launched in July last year, the tender documentation specifying that two will be equipped to support police tasks and one for medical evacuation.
The total approved budget for this procurement is around EUR 21.56 million, and an amount of EUR 1.043 million was foreseen as an advance payment for the contract in the budget revision for 2019.