Bulgaria is interested in Portuguese or Italian fighter jets

  • Jakub Maděránek
  • 29.10.2017 08:58

Bulgaria will relaunch a tender for the acquisition of eight fighter jets, Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov announced on Monday 23 October. Sofia will request new offers from Portugal, which offered used F-16 aircraft, and Italy, offering Eurofighter Typhoon fighters.

Therefore, the local government will not continue with the purchase of the Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripens, despite the Ministry of Defence's original statement and the recommendations of a ministerial expert group. The value of the acquisition, which is open to both used and new aircraft, is expected to reach €767 million. Saab's president for Market Area Europe Magnus Lewis-Olsson has stated that the new competition will only postpone the acquisition process, burden the operational budget of the Bulgarian Air Force and extend its dependence on old air defence systems, namely the Soviet Mikoyan Mig-29 jets. In 2014, Bulgaria has committed itself to the required defence spending limit of 2 % GDP within 10 years. However, it still appears that defence spending for 2017 will be lower than in 2015 when it reached 1.16 % GDP.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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