Sofia-based company Aviostart has won a 21.8 million euro ($23.75 million) deal with Bulgaria's defense ministry to deliver 10 Russian engines for the balkan country's aging MiG- 29 jet fighters.
The deal includes the supply of four new and six repaired engines. The first two engines will be delivered by the end of April 2017, Reuters reported today.
The deal will ensure the operations of the Black Sea country's air forces, he added.
"Bulgaria has nine operational aircraft at the moment and the deal, which was signed on Wednesday, would allow this number to rise to 14," the defense ministry spokesman was quoted as saying. However, currently the Balkan Bulgaria’s Air Force's only four MiG-29s are serviceable. In March 2017, the lifespan of one of the aircraft will expire, followed by another in April.
Last year Bulgaria signed an agreement with NATO ally Poland to repair six MiG-29 fighter jets, part of a push by the Balkan country to reduce its reliance on Russia.
The ministry signed the deal with Aviostart after failing to attract any other offers which were qualified to supply it with the Russian-made engines, which must be certified by Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG.
Bulgaria is in talks with Russia to overhaul the aging MiG-29 fleet at Bulgaria's military plant Avionams, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said.
The nation has also considered purchasing eight new or second-hand fighter jets next year to help to revamp its air force and improve its compliance with NATO standards.