Bulgarian government approves $1.3 billion F-16 purchase: report

Bulgaria has approved the purchase of a second batch of eight F-16 fighter jets from the United States for $1.3 billion. Reuters revealedreferring to v.a. Minister of Defense Dimitar Stoyanov.

The NATO country seeks to replace the aging fleet of Soviet MiG-29s.

The acquisition of the Lockheed Martin aircraft will also improve its compliance with NATO standards.

“The acquisition of new aircraft is extremely important for the Bulgarian Air Force. We have old Soviet planes that we cannot maintain because of the problems that arose after the conflict in Ukraine,” Stoyanov was quoted as saying by the publication.

The agreement must be approved by parliament, which will meet after the general election on October 2. The The US government approved the deal in April.

First F-16 in 2025

Bulgaria is one of three NATO countries, along with Poland and Slovakia, that still operate the MiG-29. The country bought the first batch of eight F-16s in 2019, expecting the first delivery in 2025.

In the meantime, the country is negotiating with Poland to purchase eight aircraft engines to maintain the operation of the MiGs until 2023.

The country has also approached countries such as the US, Israel, the Netherlands, France and Sweden to lease military aircraft to provide air policing. Bulgarian government approves $1.3 billion F-16 purchase: report

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