The Bulgarian government has long approved Bulgaria allocated $1,300,000,000 to buy an additional batch of F-16 Fighting Black fighters to replace the MiG-29, but due to delays in deliveries is looking for other alternatives for temporary leasing.
Here's What We Know
Last month it was revealed that Bulgaria Bulgaria wants 10 JAS-39C/D Gripen fighters, awaiting F-16 Fighting Falcon deliveries from Swedish company Saab. But that's not the only alternative option. The country's Defense Ministry said it was negotiating not only with Sweden, but also with France.
According to a defense official, Bulgaria has approached several European countries, as well as Israel and the United States. The Netherlands, Spain, and Italy were unable to provide their planes, while Sweden and France responded positively to the request.
Negotiations are at an early stage. If in the case of Swedish fighters, we are talking about JAS 39C/D Gripen, then France will be able to offer Bulgaria two alternatives at once: Dassault Rafale or Mirage 2000.
Rafale / Mirage 2000
In addition, Bulgaria is considering extending the service life of Soviet MiG-29 fighters. Poland is ready to help it in this.
To conclude, Bulgaria ordered two batches of F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft in the latest Viper Block 70/72 upgrade. The purchase of the second batch was recently approved by the authorities of the country, and its cost will be approximately $1.3 billion. Deliveries of the first batch of fighters will begin only in 2025, and not in 2023. The reason was the quarantine restrictions because of COVID-19, which the manufacturer Lockheed Martin faced.
Source: Breaking Defense
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