Bulgaria Gov't to Decide on Fighter Jets Acquisition
The government is due to hold a session and decide whether or not to proceed with the acquisition of new multirole aircraft, after a June 30 deadline to work on a draft bill expired.
Bulgaria, whose fleet of MiGs is considered to be incompatible with NATO requirements, can either get second-hand F-16s, used Eurofighters, or newly-made Gripens.
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov maintains the country will have to wait some 15 years to buy a new squadron, given the sluggish economic growth registered in the past few years.
As contracts for the maintenance of MiG-29s are due to expire, Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev has said he is in talks with a Polish company which could repair the aircraft, thus extending their lifespan by up to 15 years.
In his words, repair and maintenance could help Bulgaria make sure there will be no need for other NATO countries to perform air-policing missions over its airspace.
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