Bulgaria Mandates Defence Minister To Negotiate Combat Aircraft Acquisition

Bulgaria Mandates Defence Minister To Negotiate Combat Aircraft Acquisition

Bulgaria's government said it mandated defence minister Anyu Angelov to negotiate the acquisition of at least eight multi-purpose combat aircraft.

Angelov would have to report to the cabinet by March 1 on the outcome of his negotiations with the countries which have submitted offers - Germany, the U.S., Portugal, Israel, Italy and Sweden, and to propose an investment project for a specific type of combat aircraft, the government said in a statement.

The government has set no limit on the value of planned deal but if the value exceeds 100 million levs ($67.4 million/51 million euro) the signing of a contract will require parliament approval, Angelov told reporters following the cabinet's weekly meeting.

The new type of main combat aircraft should meet NATO's standards for a modern multi-purpose jet fighter featuring a wide range of air-to-air and air-to-surface combat capabilities. It should replace the ageing Soviet-era combat aircraft MiG-21 and Su-25 currently in service in the Bulgarian Air Force.

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