Bulgarian government: US can take responsibility for protecting our skies

Acting Bulgarian Defense Minister Dragomir Zharkov said the United States could take over the task of guarding Bulgaria’s airspace until its air force receives upgraded American F-16 fighters.

Zharkov said during a meeting of a parliamentary committee on Tuesday: “We are in an advanced stage of discussion with the American side of using its Air Force aviation to fill the potential vacuum that may arise due to the inability to save the MiG-29 and extend its service life, up to obtaining a new one. F-16 in 2025.

He added that the United States is ready to provide compensation for the delay in deliveries of American fighters to Bulgaria, consisting of $25 million for the purchase of additional weapons and equipment for aircraft and $9.5 million for pilot training.

He pointed out that Bulgaria must confirm its readiness to purchase a second batch of American fighters, including 8 aircraft, in the amount of $1.32 billion by November 1, paying the price within 9 years.

It is noteworthy that in 2019, Bulgaria made a deal with the United States to buy 8 upgraded F-16 Block 70 aircraft and provided an advance for the aircraft in the amount of $1.26 billion.

The United States was expected to deliver the aircraft to Bulgaria in 2023, but Washington later informed Sofia of delaying the deliveries due to the effects of the Corona virus epidemic and postponing them until 2025, which heightened tensions in the Bulgarian Air Force as US aircraft were to replace MiG fighters. -29 Soviet-made, which are outdated.

Source: TASS

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