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Bulgaria about to start negotiations for the purchase of new jet fighters

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World Defense & Security News - Bulgaria
 
 
 
Bulgaria about to start negotiations for the purchase of new jet fighters
 
The Bulgarian Government approved on Wednesday, July 1st, the country's participation in negotiations for the purchase of new fighter jets, said the local media Novinite. This was announced by country's Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev after the government granted him mandate to head negotiations with Belgium, the Netherlands and Greece. It was still not clear whether the negotiations will concern the purchase of new jets or second-hand ones, daily Dnevnik reports.
     
The Bulgarian Government approved on Wednesday, July 1st, the country's participation in negotiations for the purchase of new fighter jets, said the local media Novinite. This was announced by country's Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev after the government granted him mandate to head negotiations with Belgium, the Netherlands and Greece. It was still not clear whether the negotiations will concern the purchase of new jets or second-hand ones, daily Dnevnik reports. Bulgarian Air Force's MiG-21bis fighter aircraft
     
Nenchev clarified that the above countries offered second-hand F-16s, but it was not excluded for negotiations to be led with producers on the purchase of new jets. In order for ensuring the proper functioning of the Bulgarian air force, a squadron of least nine jets should be purchased.

The Bulgarian Air Force is aiming to replace its outdated Soviet-designed Mikoyan MiG-21 aircraft, reports local news agency Novinite. Bulgarian Air Force's combat aircraft fleet is currently composed of 3 MiG-21s, 15 MiG-29s and 12 Su-25s Frogfoot.

The Defence Minister added that the Bulgarian state is not pushed by deadlines for the purchase of new fighter jets as the issue with the repair of the MiG-29s has been resolved. An agreement on the repair of two or four of the engines is expected to be signed with Poland by the end of next month at the latest.

The second stage foresees for the repair of another 10-12 engines. Nenchev pointed that Poland offered much more favourable terms and lower prices than Russia on the repair of the MiG-29s. As regards the safeguard of the country's air space, which was regulated within the framework of NATO's Air Policing missions, only Poland has expressed interest.

In addition to Dutch F-16AM and Greek F-16C/D platforms, Bulgaria reportedly shown interest in purchasing of surplus Block 25 F-16s from the US Air National Guard, F-16AM midlife upgrade aircraft from Belgium, early tranche Eurofighter Typhoons from the Italian Air Force, surplus Saab Gripens from Sweden, as well as the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 Thunder.