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Bulgaria to invite offers for fighter jets, armoured vehicles

Staff Writer |
Bulgaria will launch procedures for the procurement of fighter jets and wheeled armoured vehicles by the end of March, defence minister Krassimir Karakachanov said.

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"We will seek offers for delivery of new fighter jets as well as used ones [...] We may also extend invitations to a larger number of participants," Karakachanov said in an interview with public TV channel BNT.

In 2016, Bulgaria launched the procedure for acquisition of a new type of combat aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets. However, in September 2017, an ad-hoc parliamentary commitee, set up to supervise the selection process, recommended to relaunch the procedure, saying one of the participants in the tender had been unfairly disqualified from the race.

Karakachanov also said the expenditure of 680 million levs ($429.5 million) earmarked for acquisition of new patrol ships for the Bulgarian Navy is rather insufficient for the purchase of fully equipped vessels and the ministry plans to upgrade the existing frigates.

"We consider sending proposals to interested parties, and the main requirement will be for Bulgarian shipyards to be involved in the process," Karakachanov noted.


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