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10:22 AM, March 14, 2017
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Used F-16s, Typhoons, Gripens Vie For Bulgarian Fighter Jet Replacement Plan
F-16 fighter jet

Italy’s Eurofighter Typhoon, Sweden’s Gripen and Portugal’s second hand F-16 are competing for over US$1.7 billion Bulgarian plan to buy eight fighter jets.

Bulgaria intends to replace ageing Soviet-designed MiG-29 fighters. "Bulgaria plans to spend about 1.5 billion levs (£669.10 million) to buy new aircraft to improve compliance with NATO standards while reducing reliance on Russian-made aircraft," Reuters reported Monday.

"Offers from Portugal with a logistical package from the United States, Sweden and Italy have been opened at the Defence Ministry," the ministry said in a statement.

Bulgaria's parliament approved a plan in June to get eight new or secondhand fighter jets between 2018-2020. Some funds for the deal have been set aside in the 2017 budget.

After the working group examines offers by the end of the month, talks with be held with the preferred bidder to prepare a contract, an official familiar with the process said.

In December 2016, the ministry filed requests to the United States, Sweden, Italy and Portugal to submit commercial offers over deliveries of a new type of fighter jets.

In April 2016, the Bulgarian government approved the acquisition of a squadron of new multirole fighter aircraft and two naval patrol vessels.

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