Bulgaria to Purchase French VT1 Surface-to-Air Missiles - Report

Business | November 27, 2008, Thursday // 00:00
Bulgaria Bulgaria to Purchase French VT1 Surface-to-Air Missiles ??“ Report: Bulgaria to Purchase French VT1 Surface-to-Air Missiles - Report Bulgaria might buy French VT1 short-range missile systems to equip its new Gowind corvettes. Photo by bayern-chemie.com

The French company Thales Air Systems is negotiating with the Bulgarian Army the sale of its Crotale Naval VT1 defense missile system, the Jane's Defense News reported as cited by the Russian news site lenta.ru.

Bulgaria is most likely considering buying the French missiles for the two Gowind corvettes that it is expected to purchase from the French naval defense company Armaris.

The original Crotale Naval system fielded in the 1980s used the Matra R.550 missile. The hypervelocity VT1 missile was introduced in the 1990s as an upgrade to the Crotale Naval system.

The VT1 is a Mach 3.5 class short-range missile with a 13 kg blast-fragmentation type warhead with a range of 15 km.

In 1999 the South Korean Army bought 48 Crotale NG systems for USD 330 M. In 2003 it made a second order for 66 Crotale NG systems for USD 470 M.

Bulgaria's EUR 400 M "Corvette Deal" for the purchase of two French Gowind corvettes is still under negotiations. Originally, the Bulgarian government intended to buy four corvettes but decided to reduce their number in half because of insufficient funds.

Bulgaria's Defense Ministry has not confirmed the news about the negotiations with Thales for the purchase of the VT1 missile systems.

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