The Bulgarian Military will buy 6 Refurbished MiG-29 Engines for 26.4 million Leva

Politics » DEFENSE | March 14, 2023, Tuesday // 13:26
Bulgaria: The Bulgarian Military will buy 6 Refurbished MiG-29 Engines for 26.4 million Leva @Wikimedia Commons

The Ministry of Defense has issued a public order for the purchase of six refurbished engines for MiG-29 fighters. For the delivery of the engines, the military department has set aside BGN 26.4 million including VAT, according to a reference in the portal for public procurement.

The engines must be delivered no later than 12 months after the signing of the contract. The flight life of the Bulgarian MiG-29s expires in the middle of the year, but nevertheless the military intends to continue using them until the end of the year. However, even if the public order for the repaired engines is fulfilled in a shorter period of time than one year, there will be a period in which the Bulgarian airspace will not be able to be protected by the Bulgarian Air Force.

So far, it is not known from where the engines can be delivered, writes "Mediapool" and adds that, according to data from the Ministry of Defense, talks have been held with Poland, another NATO country, as well as with an Asian country. Months ago, the defense department was counting on getting engines from Poland, but that clearly won't happen, especially since Warsaw as well as Slovakia have announced that they are ready to provide their MiGs to Ukraine.

Acting Minister of Defense Dimitar Stoyanov had explained about three weeks ago that one MiG-29 engine from Poland had been evaluated and there was no problem to deliver it to Bulgaria. In January, Stoyanov assured that two MiG-29 engines would arrive from Poland by the end of the month. The second engine needed further evaluation, he clarified, adding that there was one more engine that was at the Graf Ignatievo Air Base, and one plane could be prepared.

Stoyanov announced on February 22 that he is again in talks with France, Sweden and Israel for replacement MiG-29 fighters, with which to protect the Bulgarian airspace until the arrival in 2025 and the subsequent necessary period for acquiring the first 8 F-16 fighters Block 70 bought from the US. This happened after Bulgaria received only one offer for the supply of fighter jets in mid-February, but it was financially unacceptable, according to the defense minister.

The planes that could possibly be agreed upon before the first round of talks collapsed were the F-16 Block 30 from Israel, the Gripen from Sweden and the Mirage 2000 from France. Stoyanov explained that there must be an active National Assembly in order for such a deal to be implemented. The caretaker government intended for these replacement fighters to be bought, giving up the option of them being for temporary use only.

At the same time, Dimitar Stoyanov complained about the fact that allied countries from NATO can take over the protection of Bulgarian airspace. The office of President Rumen Radev is firmly opposed to Bulgaria providing its MiG-29 fighter jets, as well as any other military aircraft, including the Su-25 attack aircraft, which will also soon be unmaintainable.

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Tags: MiG-29, Bulgarian, engines, Poland

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