Atlantic Council of Bulgaria Voiced a Position on the Acquisition of a New Type of Combat Aircraft

The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria has issued an opinion stating our country should purchase the U.S. F-16 as a new type of fighter for the Bulgarian Air Force, and adding that the government should adhere to the common practice in NATO member states - to acquire the average number of 16 aircraft per squadron, not as planned in two times of 8, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

The civic organization, which includes dozens of army specialists, former military, public figures, journalists, political scientists, etc., criticizes the delay in the implementation of the project, stating that the earmarked funds are used for other purposes. All this leads to the Bulgarian Air Force performing national and NATO tasks "with increasing risk and bleak prospects for the future.

Once again the Atlantic Council of Bulgaria voiced their position against the conclusion of an initial contract for 8-9 fighters and not for 14 or 16 aircraft, as is the practice in NATO member states, considering the fact that the purchase of the average number per squadron leads to a lower price and fast acquisition process.

The government plans to buy at least 8 fighters for BGN 1.8 billion (with VAT), and at a later stage - another 8, however, it is not clear when exactly the second purchase will be made or will it ever happen. Even the Bulgarian Defence Ministry admits that this is unlikely to happen in the near or medium-term future.

According to the non-governmental organization, it is also necessary to be adopted an accelerated schedule for the decommissioning of the MiG-29s and the Su-25s and their further market realization, with the proceeds of this sale to be used for the new fighters to enter service faster, as well as to be acquired new radars and modern...

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