The Modernization of the Bulgarian Air Force Can Go Awry
"A very important priority for the next government must be to ensure full readiness for the acceptance of purchased and already paid F-16 fighter jets and to achieve full operational capability very quickly once they arrive - say, by 2024-2025. But it must be achieved on the horizon of the next government." This was announced on Friday during the political consultations on "National Security" by the former Minister of Defense Todor Tagarev, who is currently an expert on military issues of the leading parliamentary party "We Continue the Change". Rapid achievement of this goal is key, as the new NATO fighters will be the platform on which to reform and modernize our Air Force as a whole. They are directly related to the acquisition of new three-coordinate NATO radars and possibly in the near future - the replacement of the army's anti-aircraft missile systems, which are Soviet-made and will hardly be able to work in sync with NATO fighters.
What are the risks for the Air Force at the moment?
However, full operational readiness is unlikely to really happen in the period 2024-2025, as former Minister Tagarev would like. The reason is that the assembly of the fighters is delayed due to the pandemic and due to problems with external subcontractors in the logistics chain, as Greg Ulmer, vice president of the American corporation Lockheed Martin, which produces F-16s in Greenville, South Carolina, admits to Aviation Week and Breaking Defense. The company's previous goal was to hand over the first machine of the new Block 70 model for the needs of the Bahraini Air Force at the end of 2022. Аccording to the statement of the Vice Marshal of Bahraini Aviation Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah al-Khalifa during the air show in Dubai,...