Bugaria Halts Public Tender for Supply of Ten MiG-29 Engines
Bulgaria's Defense Ministry has said it seek to enter direct talks for the supply of ten engines for MiG-29 fighter jets, Offnews.bg reports.
The development was announced on Tuesday by the ministry itself after a meeting with the single bidder, a company called Aviostart.
The latter offered to deliver four used and six other newly repaired engines for the MiG-29s used by the Bulgarian Air Forces.
However, the commission which met representatives of the company on Tuesday found out the items had not been produced or repaired as of the moment.
Both the new and the repaired ones would not be available before the autumn of next year, according to defense ministry information quoted by Offnews.
"As of the date the procedure is being held, the participant [in the tender] cannot offer either produced or repaired engines," according to a report prepared by a commission that would have granted the tender.
The government had set aside BGN 36 M for the procurement, while Aviostart demanded BGN 43 M for the task.
Initially there were two more companies vying to be awarded the tender, but they dropped out due to a set of irregularities.
Last year, Bulgaria concluded an intergovernmental agreement with Poland on the repair of six MiG-29 engines for nearly BGN 12 M.
Two of the engines were fitted by specialists at the Graf Ignatievo air base. At the beginning of the year, Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev announced that the Bulgarian air force can rely on seven operational fighter jets.
When the idea for the purchase of new engines was brought up in the beginning of the year, Nenchev noted that Bulgaria will go for Russian-made ones, but these will not be supplied by Russia.
Offers are expected to come from member states of the EU and NATO which have such spare parts in stock.
The MiG-s flying capacity has to be urgently extended as the approved procurement of sixteen new or repaired aircraft by the end of the year will only result in Bulgaria using the jets in 2020. It will need to extent the MiGs' flying capacity to conduct joint air-policing missions with NATO partners by the time.
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