Bulgaria Starts Procedures for Acquisition of New Fighter Jets, Patrol Ships
The Bulgarian government has started procedures for the acquisition of new armaments for the needs of the country's air force and navy.
At its regular meeting on Wednesday, the government approved three investment projects, which concern the extension of the lifespan of the MiG-29 fighter jets and the acquisition of new types of fighter jet and multi-functional module patrol ship.
The projects are in line with the implementation of the government's programme for development of the armed forces.
The drafts for the modernisation of the air force and navy will be tabled for approval by parliament in line with the Defence and Armed Forces Act.
The acquisition of the new fighter jet and new module patrol ship represent the largest modernisation projects in the past years.
The aim of the projects is to enhance the operational capability of the Bulgarian army and fulfill some of the commitments undertaken under NATO's collective defence.
The acquisition of new fighter jet aims to overcome the deficit of the capabilities of the armed forces to neutralise a broad range of aerial, ground and marine threats.
The goal is to reach full operational compatibility with the air forces of NATO and EU allies.
The extension of the lifespan of the MiG-29s is directly related to the acquisition of new fighter jet.
The aim is to maintain the capability of the air force to police the country's airspace and to ensure the aerial sovereignty of Bulgaria within NATO's Integrated Air and Missile Defence.
Extending the lifespan of the MiG-29s will allow for a transition period between the acquisition of the new fighter jet and the time it reaches its full combat readiness.
During this transition period, the tasks of the fighter aviation will be conducted by the MiG-29s.
By acquiring a new type of multi-purpose module patrol ship, the navy will reach the capabilities necessary for participation in a broad range of marine operations of NATO and the EU.
The investment project foresees the acquisition of two such ships.
Due to the heavy financial burden, the complete implementation of the project will take place over a period of five years, with the construction and equipment of the ships with different kinds of armaments to be carried out in three stages.
An investment project for the acquisition of the new infantry fighting vehicle for the land forces is expected to be tabled for approval by the government soon.
The acquisition of the new armaments is of exceptional importance for ensuring the country's national security and defence and applying the mechanisms of collective defence of NATO and the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy.
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