After Bulgarian Security Council: Slow Growth of the Armed forces, Accelerate Modernization
“The pace of modernization of the army does not meet modern requirements. Effective measures are needed to increase interest in the military profession and develop modern defense potential.” This was said by Bulgarian President Rumen Radev after the meeting of the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC).
“There are regulations that slow down the modernization process. Everything leads to loss of combat capabilities and increasing risk to the health and lives of servicemen”, Radev added.
He added that the members of the council are united around the position that the escalation, the ongoing conflicts, international terrorism and migration flows pose significant challenges to our country.
“Areas with certain deficits of capabilities and technological backwardness in their development, caused by insufficient funding and limited regulations, were outlined,” the president added.
He noted that modernization projects are not developing in a balanced way. “There has been a delay in the acquisition of a new fighter jet,” Radev added. He noted that the shortage is also a significant deficit.
“A consensus was reached on the need to overcome the deficits of capabilities and develop the modern defense potential of the Republic of Bulgaria within the EU and NATO. The members of the NSAC agreed on the following proposals to the executive and legislative branches,” Radev said.
1. The executive branch to propose and the legislature to discuss changes in the legislation allowing:
- speeding up the procedures related to the modernization of the Armed Forces and the maintenance of the available weapons and equipment;
- overcoming the shortage of personnel and raising the prestige of the military profession;
2. The Executive Power to develop a prioritized, resource-provided and in line with trends in the development of modern technologies “Investment Plan-Program until 2032”, consistent with the goals and plans for development of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria until 2032;
3. The Council of Ministers to analyze the possibility of updating the “National Plan for increasing the defense expenditures of 2% of the gross domestic product of the Republic of Bulgaria until 2024” adopted in 2017 so that the final goal is achieved in 2023.
4. The Council of Ministers to provide financial resources for the maintenance of the existing armaments and equipment, with priority given to preventing the loss of capabilities for control of the air and sea space of the Republic of Bulgaria.
5. The Executive Power to take actions to overcome the backlog and accelerate the acquisition of new equipment under already concluded contracts for modernization of the Air Force and Navy, as well as to launch the project for modernization of the Land Forces.
6. The Council of Ministers to assess the possibility of establishing a Trust Investment Fund for Modernization of the Armed Forces, which will include funds not used in previous years for investment projects for modernization, as well as funds from the revenue part of the budget of the Ministry of Defense.
7. The Executive Authority to take steps to include Bulgaria as a full member of the NATO Innovation Fund and to make full use of the participation in the NATO Innovation Accelerator, called DIANA (NATO’s Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic).
“I want to thank all the participants for the full discussion and for uniting around these important proposals for our national security and the development of the Armed Forces,” Radev said.
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