Bulgaria's Defence Minister Indicted for MiG-29 Contracts for EUR 3,773,000
According to the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office (SCPO), the initial indictment against Defence Minister Nenchev is that, in the period 05.05.2015 – 09.09.2015, in his official capacity as a person occupying a post of grave responsibility – defence minister, he did not fulfill his professional obligations and did not ensure aviation safety and flight efficiency of the military aircraft belonging to the fighter jet aviation of Bulgaria.
SCPO’s investigation discovered that two contracts were signed on 26.04.2015 between the Ministry of Defence and RSK MiG AO for extending the service life of 2 RD-33 engines with 50 flight hours and the repair of two RD-33 engines, as well as one box for aircraft aggregate – 2/KSA-2/ for MiG-29 for the total amount of EUR 3,773,000.
Instead of implementing the contracts, Minister Nenchev told his deputy – Desislava Yosifova – to put these in the office safe and not take any actions towards their fulfillment in order for the repair of the aircraft not to be carried out. Nenchev continued to give the same instruction to his employees in the ministry over the next few months.
This action had significant harmful consequences for the Bulgarian army – flight hours for pilots were reduced to 33 hours annually, given a minimum NATO limit of 180 hours per year. This resulted in increased risk of accidents due to lack of sufficient training.
Nenchev’actions resulted in a decrease in the number of prepared flight crews and overload of pilots under Air Policing and the inability to train young pilots on MiG-29.
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