Bulgaria’s parliament approved spending over 3.2 billion leva ($1.9 billion) for new fighter jets and armored vehicles to update its aging fleet of Soviet-era equipment.
Bulgaria will allow a stalled NATO investment project for the acquisition of at least eight new or used fighter jets for 1.8 billion leva to replace its current fleet of Soviet-built MiG-29 jets.
A defense ministry commission had earlier reviewed offers and shortlisted Sweden’s Gripen as a preferred option, but the procedure has been sidetracked by the current fascist cabinet of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
The ministry will now seek requests for other proposals from suppliers for new or used F-16’s from the USA, Portugal and Israel, or for new or used Eurofighter Typhoons from Germany and Italy, for second-hand Rafale fighters from France, and new or used Gripens from Sweden.
Sofia’s Parliament also approved spending of 1.46 billion leva on 150 new wheeled armoured vehicles for three infantry battalions in its land forces to replace the current Soviet-made BTR armoured personnel carriers and BRDM armoured vehicles. The approved spending also includes additional equipment and training.
France’s Nexter Systems, Finland’s Patria as well as U.S. companies Textron and General Dynamics Land Systems have already expressed interest in the deal.
The Defense Post.com / ABC Flash Point NATO News 2018.