Bulgaria may lose access to spares and documetation of it MiG-29 fighters following a decsion to carry out servicing of its aircraft in Poland.
In a move to limit dependency on Russia, Bulgaria chose not to renew its existing repair and maintenance contract with Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (abbreviated RSK MiG) which ends in September, instead it entered into a servicing agreement with Poland for the maintenance of its old MiG-29s in August. Poland does not have the necessary license to carry out the repairs.
MiG head Sergey Korotkov, in a letter to the chief of Bulgarian Parliament's Defense Committee Miho Mihov has stated that his company will terminate maintenance and service contracts with Bulgaria if the country goes on with the decision to send aircraft for repair in Poland, Tass reported Sunday.
The letter mentioned by Tass reportedly warns Bulgaria of Poland not being authorized to offer MiG spare parts to third countries.
The Bulgarian government sees the contract as an alternative to acquiring new fighter jets to replace the outdated MiG-29s as it has been postponed over lack of funds.
“Bulgaria's plan to have Poland rather than Russia provide maintenance for its MiG-29 fighters endangers the future of the country's air force,” Sputnik quoted retired air force head General Miho Mihov as saying Monday.
"We informed the defense minister that Poland does not have a license to carry out repairs on the Bulgarian MiG-29s. The case has not been discussed at the Defense Council with the participation of all of its members," Mihov said in comments carried by Polish media.
Bulgaria did not allow Russian aid planes to Syria to fly across its airspace recently. Bulgaria has a 16 MiG-29s of which four are operational and it also has three aging MiG-21s.
Bulgaria plans to sign a contract with Poland to repair its MiG-29 fighter jets. Bulgarian Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev said on Thursday that nine of the country's nineteen MiG-29 fighter jets need repair
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