Saab Lures Bulgaria to Buy Gripen Fighter Jets

Politics » DEFENSE | April 14, 2010, Wednesday // 19:11
Bulgaria: Saab Lures Bulgaria to Buy Gripen Fighter Jets Gripen jet fighters might be purchased by the Bulgarian Air Force. Photo by gripen.com

The Swedish company Saab has offered Bulgaria Gripen fighter jets at the price of second-hand US F-16 planes.

Daniel Boestad, Director of Saab International for Bulgaria, has stated, as cited by Darik Radio, that the offer is favorable for Bulgaria because it saves money without compromising on quality.

According to Boestad, the fighter aircraft offered by Gripen have a number of advantages compared to second-hand F-16 planes or the Russian MiG-29 planes that are currently employed by the Bulgarian Air Force such as the lower maintenance cost and smaller land teams needed for servicing them.

The Swedish manager has pointed out that the purchase of second-hand fighter jets is very risky and expensive.

“The fact that the exploitation period of the second-hand planes is almost over will mean that Bulgaria will have to launch a new procedure for purchasing fighter jets within several years,” said Boestad.

The state finances and respectively the funding for the Bulgarian Army are in a rather deplorable condition so one of the options for buying new military equipment is the purchase of US fighter jets together with Romania.

The Bulgarian government has made no final decision yet. However, the Head of Defense (formerly known as Head of the General Staff of the Army), General Simeon Simeonov recently stated that Bulgaria needs to buy multipurpose fighter jets, and that it needs to buy new ones rather than second-hand.

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Tags: Gripen, Saab, Daniel Boestad, fighter jet, F-16, MiG-29, second-hand, Bulgarian Air Force, Bulgarian Army, Simeon Simeonov
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