Bulgaria is negotiating the Purchase of second-hand Fighter JetsDefense | October 7, 2022, Friday // 10:12| views
Bulgaria is looking for an interim solution for fighters while the US F-16 project starts. Negotiations are underway with Sweden and several other countries, President Rumen Radev announced after the meeting of the European Political Community in Prague.
Radev recalled that at the NATO summit, he emphasized “the need of our country for fighter jets in order not to interrupt the ‘Air policing’ duty and protection of our own airspace.”
"While this project starts, a solution is being sought, because Bulgaria cannot give up the protection of its own skies. This will be until 2030, if the next parliament decides to agree on the 8 planes. Until then, we are looking for an interim solution, they have been sent letters, meetings are held, initial information is received about platforms from the USA, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and Israel. We are looking for the best solution in terms of capabilities and price," said the head of state.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense announced that "in order to ensure the possibility for the Bulgarian Air Force to carry out its airspace protection tasks, as has been repeatedly reported in the last two months, the Ministry of Defense has made a request to Sweden, France, Israel and the USA for presentation of an offer to lease or purchase aircraft".
From there, they add that meetings with delegations from Sweden and France were held in mid-September and offers are expected. The response of Israel and the USA is also awaited.
In Prague, Radev did not specify how many planes were involved. Their number is not clear from the announcement of the Ministry of Defense: "How many planes we will take depends on the technical parameters, financing and the capabilities of the respective countries for delivery," the president pointed out. According to information from "24 Chasa", which released the letter of the caretaker government, it is clear that we are talking about 10 Swedish "Gripen" fighters. The cited letter is from September 30, and in it the Acting Minister of Defense, Dimitar Stoyanov, requests an offer for the purchase of the "Gripens", to be produced and delivered within 2 years from the conclusion of the contract. Stoyanov still wants lease offers.
The head of state added that our country is looking for second-hand fighter jets not from companies, but from the ministries of the respective countries.
Rumen Radev also stated that the energy crisis requires new approaches, as the survival of the European economy, which is in danger of losing competitiveness, depends on it. According to him, the presence of Norway, Azerbaijan and Turkey at the forum is extremely important.
"Bulgaria's role as an initiator of important initiatives is also key," Radev pointed out.
In his words, the forum is a great basis to work on energy, transport and digital connectivity, and Bulgaria should take advantage of its location.
The President announced that he had spoken with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte about our accession to Schengen, noting that double standards cannot be applied to Bulgaria: "It will not be easy, but we will continue with our efforts," said Rumen Radev.
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