Bulgaria’s Defense Ministry Denies Having Signed MiG-29 Repair Contract

No fighter jet repair contract has been signed between Bulgaria and Russian aircraft company MiG over the past months, the Defense Ministry in Sofia has said.

Its remarks follow reports by TASS news agency, which quoted the head of MiG as saying at an international defense expo that such a deal was sealed at the end of 2016 about aircraft in service with the Bulgarian Air Force.

Soviet-made MiGs make up much of Bulgaria’s military aircraft fleet. Their maintenance and, eventually, replacement with newer, NATO-compatible aircraft has been on the agenda of several Bulgarian governments over the past decade.

The latest explanation of the ministry contradicts its earlier announcement

The Defense Ministry makes a reference to the contracts signed on the delivery of engines and aggregates for several aircraft engines, aggregates and spare parts with a Russian company (according to the initial statement) or with Bulgarian company Aviostart and another one based in Ukraine, according to the current statement.