Bulgarian Navy Frigate Joins NATO Libya Mission April 15

Defense | March 30, 2011, Wednesday // 13:41|  views

Bulgaria's "Drazki" frigate will be ready for departure to the Mediterranean in mid-April to take part in the NATO operations in Libya. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's government approved on Wednesday the deployment of a navy frigate to join NATO's Operation "United Protector" patrolling off Libya's coast to enforce a UN arms embargo.

The frigate "Drazki" (i.e. "Daring") will be manned by 160-member crew. The Bulgarian Navy has already started to prepare it for the NATO naval mission off the Libyan coast.

The government approved sending the frigate for three months to the Mediterranean Sea to take part in the operation, but it will not stay there during the whole period. The length of stay of each ship in the Mediterranean is one month in general before rotation is done.

The cost of Bulgaria's participation in the NATO weapons embargo operation in Libya can tower to BGN 4.5 M, according to Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov.

In 2009, Bulgaria purchased three second-hand frigates from Belgium - Drazki, Gordi ("Proud"), and "Verni" ("Faithful") and the Tsibar minesweeper. Interestingly, one of the frigates, Gordi, under the name F910 Weilingen as part of the Belgian Navy joined the UN maritime embargo against Iraq - Operation Southern Breeze during the First Gulf War - in 1990-1991 - a naval operation similar to the one in Libya.

In addition to sending in the Drazki frigate, Bulgaria has confirmed its readiness to send two medical teams for a humanitarian operation on the ground in Libya.

Bulgaria follows the example of neighboring Romania, whose President Traian Basescu announced last week that his country will participate in the NATO naval operation off Libya's coast with the King Ferdinand frigate. The Romanian frigate will be manned by 205-member crew.

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Tags: Commander in Chief, Defense Minister, Cabinet, policies, defense, armed forces, Anyu Angelov, Defense Minister, Georgi Parvanov, president, NATO, Libya, operations, embargo, weapons, frigate, Drazki


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