The Bulgarian Air Force will use its air fleet of aging Russian MiG-29s until the arrival of the new F-16 fighter jets it expects from the United States.
Defense Minister Todor Tagarev, in his speech in parliament, stated that the first F-16 fighter jet Bulgaria bought from the United States is expected to be delivered to the country in 2025. Tagarev stated that until then, the aging MiG-29 fleet, which was at the end of its technological life, would be used to protect Bulgarian airspace.
Minister Tagarev announced that although the technical condition of the existing MiGs poses problems, no other aircraft will be purchased temporarily.
– The aircraft will be serviced in Poland
Meanwhile, it was announced that the MiG-29s would be repaired in Poland. The Ministry of Defense reports that the maintenance of 6 engines will be carried out by the Polish company Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze Nr 2 SA. The fee charged by the Polish company for the repair was about 10 million euros, excluding VAT and customs costs.
The Bulgarian Air Force has problems maintaining the MiG-29s, as they are outdated. Technical maintenance of MiGs, which can be performed in Russia and Ukraine, takes place in Poland after Russia declared war on Ukraine. Bulgaria frequently receives temporary support from other NATO allies to protect its airspace.
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