Bulgarian government has decided to ask the parliament to approve military spending of nearly $3 billion to acquire 16 fighter jets in two stages and 150 armoured vehicles.
The purchase of the first stage of eight fighter jets is expected to cost about 1.8 billion levs ($1.1 billion) which has already been earmarked in the state budget, the government said in a statement following a weekly session, reported SeeNews Wednesday.
Bulgaria launched a tender for acquisition of a new fighter aircraft to replace ageing fleet of Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets in 2016. However, in September 2017, the ad-hoc parliamentary committee set up to supervise the selection process, recommended to relaunch the procedure as one of the participants in the tender had been unfairly disqualified from the race.
The acquisition of 150 combat vehicles will cost an approximate $879 million, according to the government statement.
The estimated value of the project for acquisition of 150 combat vehicles is 1.46 billion levs ($879 million), according to government statement.
The project also provides for the supply of specialised equipment for three army battalions and additional equipment, as well as carrying out the necessary training. The time frame for implementation of the project is 12 years, the government said.
The main objective of the proposed acquisition of armoured vehicles is to meet NATO standards and to build national industrial capacity to support the life cycle of the acquired equipment and weapons, the defence ministry said earlier.