Bulgaria is likely to halt negotiations with the US and remove Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70 jet from the country’s fighter jet procurement plan, to sway the deal in the favour of Eurofighter Typhoon or Saab’s Gripen, owing to the high price of the American jet.
The Bulgarian Air Force wants to acquire 8 fighters to replace its ageing Russian Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters with a western jet. They have an option to choose from Saab’s Gripen fighters and used Italian Eurofighters apart from US’ F-16 jets.
“Government authorities are not expecting to receive anything for free from the US. But we expect them to offer the aircraft at normal prices. They must offer prices similar to that offered to other countries, for example, Slovakia,” Krasimir Karakachanov, Bulgaria’s defense minister told local broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio.
Last year, the Slovak Cabinet signed a contract worth about $1.78 billion (€1.59 billion) to acquire 14 F-16 Block 70/72 fighters from the United States (each unit costing about $127 million), reports www.proelasi.org.
The minister however did not disclose the value of the offer made by the American side.
In January 2019, Reuters reported that the Parliament of Bulgaria had approved government’s plan to begin negotiations with the US regarding the purchase of eight new F-16V fighter jets for $1.05 billion (1.8 billion levs). Nearly 130 lawmakers voted in favour of the plan of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s government while 84 deputies were against it, accusing the cabinet of breaching the tender rules.
“The US’ bid exceeds the budget by $174 million (300 million levs). Negotiations might last for four months, with the first meeting expected in Brussels next month,” Karakachanov had said.
The Parliament of Bulgaria has approved governments plan to begin negotiations with the United States (US) regarding the purchase of eight new F-16V fighter jets in a deal worth 1.8 billion levs ($1
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 Swedish Defence Material Administration has offered eight new fully NATO-interoperable Gripen C/D fighter aircraft as part of the proposal to equip the Bulgarian Air Force. The Swedish offer consists of eight new NATO interoperable Gripen aircraft with the latest MS20 configuration, which can be delivered to the Bulgarian Air Force within a short time period, with the first aircraft delivered within 24 months of contract signature
The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Bulgaria of F-16C/D Block 70/72 aircraft with weapons, communications systems and support for an estimated cost of $1.673 billion
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