This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

Bulgaria selects RSK MiG for MiG-29 fighter jets maintenance


Bulgaria`s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has selected Russia`s RSK MiG (Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation) company as a provider of maintenance for the MiG-29 multirole fighter jets of the Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF), it was announced on March 15, 2018.


Bulgaria selects RSK MiG for Mi 29 fighter jet maintenance 001 A Bulgarian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29A takes off from the runway from the runway of Graf Ignatievo Air Force Base, Bulgaria, during Operation "Thracian Star" on 13 October 2010
(Credit: USAF/Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)


Bulgaria`s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has selected Russia`s RSK MiG (Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation) company as a provider of maintenance for the MiG-29 (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum) multirole fighter jets of the Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF).

"The Bulgarian MoD has selected RSK MiG under a single-source tender to provide the BuAF with integrated logistical support for its 15 MiG-29 jet fighters for 48 months," the analysts from Jane's said. "Bulgarian Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov signed the agreement on March 6 after negotiations with the Russian company were completed in Sofia on February 16," they added.

The experts point out that Sofia initially selected Russia`s industry as its partner for the maintenance of the Bulgarian fighter jets. However, the final decision was put on hold due to an appeal made by the Ukrainian Ukrinmash company. Nevertheless, Bulgaria`s anti-monopoly watchdogs rejected the abovementioned appeal, paving the way for the deal with the Russian company.

Therefore, RSK MiG will be maintain 12 MiG-29A (Fulcrum) single-seat fighters and three MiG-29UB (Fulcrum) twin-seat operational trainers of the BuAF. According to Jane`s, the contract envisages maintenance of the aircraft, the overhaul of 10 sets of MiG-29 landing gear and 13 Zvezda K-36-series zero-zero ejection seats, and inspection works.Bulgaria seems to be planning to extend the service life of the BuAF`s Fulcrums as the acquisition of new multirole fighter jets will not take place until 2022 at least.

The service still operates a large number of Soviet-originated air platforms. According to the Military Balance 2017 analytical book issued by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the BuAF had 12 MiG-29A fighters, four MiG-29UB operational trainers, an An-30 (Clank) reconnaissance aircraft, an An-2T (Colt) light transport aircraft, six Mi-24V/D (Hind) attack helicopters, and six Mi-17 (Hip) utility helicopters in its inventory as of early 2017.

The service is planning to upgrade its fleet of aerial platforms; however, financial constraints hamper the implementation of these programs.It should be mentioned that the helicopter fleet of the BuAF faces the same problems. In early 2018, the service reactivated its second Mi-24V gunship.

The time between overhauls of the rotary-wing platform was reset to 1,000 flight hours (or seven years)nwhile its service life was extended by 10 years, from 25 to 35 years. The helocraft can be operated until January 2021. Then the helicopter will be grounded, and an inspection will show whether the platform is fit for another extension of its lifecycle. The positive decision will prolong the operational use of the rotary-wing platform to December 2024.


© Copyright 2018 TASS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.