The Engines of Bulgarian MiG-29 Fighters will be Repaired in Ukraine

Politics » DEFENSE | June 23, 2023, Friday // 19:56
Bulgaria: The Engines of Bulgarian MiG-29 Fighters will be Repaired in Ukraine Bulgarian MiG-29

90% of the repair of 6 MiG-29 engines of the Bulgarian Air Force will be carried out at the Lutsk Repair Plant "Motor" in Ukraine. This became clear from the decision to select a public order contractor of the Ministry of Defense, made on June 16.

Since one MiG-29 fighter has two engines, this means that the engines of three fighters will be repaired. Bulgaria relies only on the Soviet-made MiG-29s to protect its airspace. Their support is impossible after the start of Russia's war against Ukraine.

In February, Acting Defense Minister Dimitar Stoyanov said that the probability that Bulgaria will stop performing combat duty to protect its airspace is high.

The official repair contractor will be "TEREM - Holding" Ltd., which is owned by the Ministry of Defense. The Ukrainian plant "Motor" is a subcontractor. TEREM's offer is for nearly 15.5 million leva without duty and VAT.

The company was selected because its offer was significantly lower than the second company invited to participate in the tender. This was the Polish state-owned company Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze Nr2 S.A. The lowest price that was agreed with the Polish company is 18.68 million leva without duty and VAT.

From the report of the commission that made the decision, it is also understood that the engines will be repaired in Ukraine and transported by land. The repair will take up to 8 and a half months. The warranty will be 100 flight hours or 12 months. The remaining inter-repair service life of the engines will be no less than 7 and a half years.

The cabinet, appointed by President Rumen Radev, announced another public order for the supply of 6 refurbished engines for the MiG-29, which would leave 3 more fighters in the air. It has an estimated value of BGN 22 million excluding VAT. The only company that submitted documents for it is TEREM again. The offer will be opened on June 27.

Until the beginning of the war, MiG-29 maintenance was done exclusively by the Russian state corporation RSK MiG. The Ministry of Defense claimed that they could not be repaired elsewhere because the Russian corporation held the licenses.

In 2016, the then Minister of Defense Nikolay Nenchev concluded an agreement for the repair of six MiG-29 engines with Poland, which was ratified by the parliament. A few months later, an indictment was filed against Nenchev for causing damage to the Russian company for over 48.5 million leva. Nenchev was acquitted in 2020 after the court accepted that no crime had been committed in the case.

CNN cited one of the many leaked documents from the Pentagon and reported that Bulgaria has expressed readiness to donate its MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. However, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense denied that it had held talks on the free provision of Bulgarian fighter jets to Kyiv.

Since the beginning of the war, Ukraine has twice asked Bulgaria to give it MiG-29 and Su-25 aircraft, according to a written response by Defense Minister Dimitar Stoyanov to a question by Ivaylo Mirchev, MP from "We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria".

Bulgaria will rely on its MiG-29 fighters until the delivery of the first F-16s in 2025 and will not buy the so-called "replacement aircraft" for which Galab Donev's office lobbied.

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Tags: engines, MiG-29, Bulgaria, Ukraine

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