Italian submarines are too expensive for us
Sweden is sending its experts to inspect two Bulgarian military airports – “Graf Ignatievo” and “Bezmer”, whether they can accept “Gripen” fighters. This was announced by the Minister of Defense Dimitar Stoyanov at a hearing in the parliamentary defense committee. The Swedes should come as early as November 16.
A similar delegation to inspect whether the two bases can receive Mirage-2000 aircraft was also expected from France, Stoyanov told the deputies. So far, however, there is no date for it.
As “24 Chasa” wrote, “Gripen” and “Mirage” are favorites for the so-called a replacement fighter that should cover the Air Force’s need for aircraft from 2023 – when the resource of our Russian fighters expires – until 2028 – when the US-purchased F-16s will be in full operational readiness.
Sweden and France are the two countries that have responded to MoD inquiries as to whether they can provide us with fighter jets and armaments. Inquiries have also been sent to the US and Israel by the caretaker government. Previously, Kiril Petkov’s office also asked Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, but these countries replied with letters that they could not provide us with fighter jets, Stoyanov said.
Later, the minister explained to journalists that there were answers from Sweden and France, including with prices, which he did not name. Both offers are for over BGN 100 million and whichever one is chosen will have to be approved by the parliament.
At the end of 2023, the resource of the MiG-29 expires, and the first American planes will arrive in 2025 at the earliest, Stoyanov reminded the deputies why replacement planes are being sought.
The Ministry of Defense continues negotiations with Italy for the purchase of two submarines. The last talks took place between October 12-14, but the Italian offer was very expensive, according to the minister. Therefore, we expect its improvement.
If the parliament approves the program for the modernization of the army proposed by the government with 13 projects with a total value of over BGN 8 billion, the need for each deal to be approved separately by the National Assembly will actually disappear, it became clear at Stoyanov’s hearing. The so-called PIR would only be done for transactions that are more expensive than the estimated price in the program.
A Swedish delegation will check whether our air bases can receive Gripen fighters.