Swedes and French in Sofia with proposals for new fighters

They will replace the MiGs before the new American ones arrive. We also buy 2 engines for the Soviets from Poland, repair 6 there

Today, a French delegation is arriving at the Ministry of Defense, and the Swedish delegation will be here on September 20 for talks about new fighter jets. They come after Acting Defense Minister Dimitar Stoyanov sent out letters upon taking office seeking a new fighter platform to replace the Russians before the new F-16s arrive. Due to the pandemic, the production of the American fighter jets, which Bulgaria prepaid, has been delayed.

“For the period from late 2023 to 2025-2026, when the first F-16 fighters are due to arrive and enter service, options are being considered. One of them is to continue the operation of the MiGs , and the other is to look for another platform to fill this gap. Letters have been sent to many countries, there are replies from France and Sweden.

“The French delegation will be in the Ministry of Defense today, and the Swedish delegation will be in our country on September 20. We are still waiting for answers from the USA and Israel,” Stoyanov told BNR.

With the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčreplacement fighter jets from Sweden, the official government returned the attempts for Bulgaria to acquire Gripen – as was the decision of the first official government of Rumen Radev, which was later canceled by the third cabinet of Boyko Borisov and which confronted the then president and prime minister. In the end, Bulgaria bought the American fighters.

Talks with the Polish side about the repair of our MiG-29s are intense, it became clear from Stoyanov’s words. He described them as “encouraging”. Polish representatives are invited to come to Bulgaria.

“Two of the engines are set to be purchased directly, and the remaining six to be repaired in Poland. We have money. There are financial resources exactly set aside – over 40 million,” the acting minister also announced.

“I don’t even want to think that there is such an alternative – for someone else to come and guard instead of us,” commented Stoyanov.

“Not only gas is a weapon, but also so-called soft power is a weapon. Soft power is economic sanctions, soft power is diplomatic approaches. Soft power is training in other countries,” commented Dimitar Stoyanov in the program “Before All” on the topic of the war in Ukraine. According to him, Bulgaria is in a stable position regarding the sanctions.

There is a memorandum concluded between “Terem” and the Ukrainian side for the repair of armored vehicles, but at the moment no such request has been received.

Regarding the export of weapons, he confirmed his position that “heavy weapons should not be handed over, the Bulgarian army does not have any surplus”.

“There are no weapons that are exported and handed over by the Bulgarian army under contracts to other countries. What is produced in the military-industrial complex is exported and the state profits,” said the minister.

In connection with the criticism that behind the caretaker government are political forces that are in a position not to provide military aid to Ukraine and not to oppose the interests of Russia, Stoyanov said: “There is a decision of the National Assembly that does not allow the export of arms to Ukraine. There are no political forces, but the decision of the National Assembly – to provide military-technical assistance.”

“Border protection is the responsibility of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, we support their activities. So far there has not been so much army on the border. The current pressure is normal for the period and the season. The peak is usually July, August and September. I hope that the Bulgarian Army and the “Border Police” will deal with the problem together, especially since there is an active dialogue with the Turkish side as well. I hope that the actions of our neighbors will support our activities as well,” Stoyanov commented on the refugee pressure.

A total of 2,200 military personnel are helping to rebuild the flooded villages, he added.


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