Saab, Sweden Court Bulgaria to Get Fighter Jet Deal

Defense | September 22, 2010, Wednesday // 18:10|  views

Gripen fighter jets are in competition with F-16 and Eurofighter Typhoon to be purchased by the Bulgarian Air Force. Photo by

Representatives of the Swedish company Saab and the Swedish Defense Ministry have met with Bulgarian officials over the future tender of the Bulgarian government for the purchase of new fighter jets.

The meeting comes several days after the Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov said the Cabinet will most likely select from among F-16, Eurofighter Typhoon, or Gripen when it decides to purchase its new multipurpose fighter jets.

"Sweden remains strongly committed to the process of modernization of the Bulgarian Air Force. The company Saab hopes for an open and transparent tender for the purchase of new fighter jets by the Bulgarian government," stated Daniel Boestad, Director of Saab for Bulgaria.

Boestad has made clear long ago the offer of Saab to purchase Swedish-made fighter planes Gripen from Saab's subsidiary.

He conducted talks with officials from the Bulgarian Defense Ministry on Wednesday together with representatives of the Swedish Air Force and the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration.

The meeting is said to have been scheduled in order to discuss the "technical details" of the Swedish offer for Gripen fighter jets to the Bulgarian government.

Saab and the Swedish Defense Ministry have presented to the Bulgarian officials detailed information about the characteristics of the Gripen planes.

"We believe that Gripen is financially the most feasible fighter jet for Bulgaria which will fully meet the needs of the Bulgarian Air Force," Boestad said.

He has pointed out that the Swedish government offers Bulgaria "brand-new" multipurpose Gripen planes in complete accordance with NATO's standards. The offer has also been advertised with its 100% offset clause, which is supposed to create "thousands of new jobs and to support the Bulgarian economy," according to Saab.

Bulgarian Defense Minister Angelov has made it clear that few other options will be considered outside the American F-16, the German-UK-Italian-Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Swedish Gripen.

The tender for the procurement of the new fighter jets for the Bulgarian Air Force will be announced at the beginning of 2011. The new plane will be selected by the middle of 2012, and the delivery should start in 2015.

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Tags: Anyu Angelov, Eurofighter Typhoon, Eurofighter, F-16, Lockheed Martin, Gripen, Defense Minister, Bulgarian Air Force, Daniel Boestad, Sweden, Swedish Air Force, Swedish Defense Materiel Administration


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