The Netherlands is ready to give Bulgaria its F-16 fighter jets if Bulgaria provides its former Soviet-made aircraft to Ukraine.
This is claimed by the deputy from “Democratic Bulgaria” Ivaylo Mirchev.
“The Netherlands is ready to give Bulgaria F-16s if we agree to provide our MiG-29s and SU-25s to Ukraine. Now it remains for the caretaker government to waste no time and immediately start this process, demonstrating that it really thinks about the modernization of our army, not how to serve Putin,” Mirchev wrote on his Facebook page.
Bulgaria sought help for its air force from the Netherlands as early as Kiril Petkov’s government to find replacement fighters for the time between the downing of the MiG-29s in 2023 and the arrival of the US-bought F-16s. However, according to the Acting Minister of Defense Dimitar Stoyanov, The Hague refused us.
The news of MP Ivaylo Mirchev was also confirmed by Dutch publications.
The Dutch government is considering transferring some of its surplus F-16s to NATO allies in Eastern Europe, which in turn will provide its MiG-29s to Ukraine, EW Magazine reported. One of the main candidates would be Bulgaria, the Aviacionline defensa portal points out.
According to the publications, the responsible people in the countries that have the MiG-29 were informed confidentially.
The Air Force to give its MiG-29 and Su-25 aircraft to Ukraine was requested back in the spring, but Bulgaria refused. Poland announced a similar scheme to replace its fighter jets. Slovakia also provided Soviet-era fighters.
Bulgaria has 15 MiG-29 fighters and 12 Su-25 bombers.