The Bulgarian National Assembly committee on finance and budget cleared $1.08 billion for the procurement of 16 fighter jets.
The committee approved the budget for acquisition of fighters along with 150 infantry combat vehicles for $882 million, a day after the Parliament’s defense committee approved the proposed projects. The projects will be put to the plenary for approval, Sofia Globe reported Wednesday.
Bulgarian government plans to spend 1.8 billion leva (US $1.08 billion) VAT included to procure 16 fighters in two stages of eight each. The first stage envisages a payment period of 10 years.
Bulgaria launched a tender for acquisition of a new fighter aircraft to replace ageing fleet of Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets in 2016. Bids to supply the aircraft were received from Saab, and from Italy, to supply second-hand Eurofighters, and from Portugal, to supply second-hand F-16s.
The interim government had approved a ranking of the jet supply bids, which put the Swedish Gripen fighter jets offer first, followed by an offer from Portugal of second-hand U.S. F-16s equipped with U.S. weaponry. An offer from Italy of second-hand Eurofigher Typhoon fighters was ranked third in the initial bid process. 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 news daily reported that, Defense Minister Krassimir Karakachanov had recently hinted at the possibility of getting second-hand F-16s from Israel.
“The Bulgarian military deserves these means of renewal and modernisation, because the times we are living in are not becoming safer, but more and more dangerous and increasingly insecure,” Karakachanov was quoted as saying by the news daily.
Borissov is due to visit Israel in mid-June 2018.
Bulgarian Air Force commander General Tsanko Stoykov was quoted as saying on Tuesday that a new methodology would be used to define the criteria for selecting the fighter jet.
Stoykov said that Bulgaria would be looking for offers for US-made F-18s and F-16s from the United States, Portugal and Israel, and Eurofighters from Germany and Italy, and wanted bids for French-made Rafael aircraft and Sweden’s Gripen. Offers could be for new or second-hand aircraft.
Karakachanov has denied that the fighter jet acquisition process is slanted in favour of any particular bid.
The other item is for the acquisition of 150 for infantry combat vehicles, systems, additional equipment and training for three battalion groups, for which spending of 1.46 billion leva is proposed.
Reports state that the Bulgarian government will seek to hand as much as possible of the project to acquire 150 armoured infantry vehicles to local industry.
Bulgarian Government has postponed the decision on projects to acquire fighter jets and armoured infantry vehicles and will discuss it in the regular weekly meeting on May 16. Earlier discussion on May 9 was halted because of the absence of Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, who was out of the country and was expected to return on May 11, Sofia Globe
Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC), an anti-monopoly watchdog has rejected Ukrainian arms firm Ukrinmashs appeal to stop $50.2 million worth fighter jet overhaul deal with Russian MiG
Bulgaria has requested Russian MiG to overhaul and maintain its 15 ageing MiG-29 fighter aircraft for $49 million for a period of four years. Bulgaria decided to rewrite the requirements and request for bidders for offers on fighter jet acquisition to replace the MiG-29 fleet in September this year
Bulgaria will seek an offer from Boeing for its F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft to be part of the nations fighter jet deal to replace Soviet-designed MiG-29 aircraft. The MoD is seeking the offer in addition to the three main competitors for the deal, adding that requests for proposals are expected to be sent to manufacturers this month, Defence Minister Kasimir Karakachanov told broadcaster BNR Wednesday
Italy and Leonardo submitted their offer to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence on October in response to the recent Request for Proposal (RFP) for the acquisition of eight fighter aircraft to replace their ageing Mig fleet. The Italian offer is based on the supply to the Bulgarian Air Force of used Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoons from the Italian Air Force and includes also the option for the delivery of newly built aircraft as requested by Bulgaria
The Bulgarian ministry of defense (MoD) has invited bids from Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and Belarusian 558 Aircraft Repair Plant (ARP) to overhaul its Su-25 fleet. The estimated value of the contract is 41 million levs ($24
The Bulgarian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has issued a Request for Proposal to acquire 16 fighter jets to replace the ageing fleet of Russian-made MiG-29 jets of the country's Air Force. The MoD has called for bids to supply aircraft from United States, Portugal, Israel, Italy, Germany, France and Sweden
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