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International Scientific Conference on “Future Armed Forces 2040” Will Begin Today

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Extending of army modernization deadline requested by defense minister

Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov will open today an international scientific conference on “Future Armed Forces 2040”. It is organized by the Defense Prospective Research Institute (IMEO) of the Military Academy “G. S. Rakovski “together with AFCEA (Sofia) and Defense Defense and Project Management Departments of the Ministry of Defense, reported BGNES.

During the two-day conference, seven major topics will be discussed: security environment analysis 2040 – global challenges and trends; Balkans and the Black Sea region: emerging security challenges; vision for the future Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria; Armed Forces 2040 – Capabilities and Investments; technological trends and their effect on future wars; Armed Forces 2040 – Human Capital and Future Challenges in Cyber Defense.

More than 80 experts from Austria, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Greece, Canada, Qatar, Poland, Romania and the United States will take part in the conference. The conference will be attended by representatives of the NATO Science and Technology Organization, the NATO Transformation Command, the Headquarters of the Alliance for the Integration of NATO Forces in Bulgaria, the National Military Academy of Austria, the Military Academy of Greece, the National Military University “Carol I” Romania, the University of Military Studies, Poland and others.

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Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet Dropped out of the Competition for Bulgarian New Fighters

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Photo credit: Defensenews.com

SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The U.S. proposal of Boeing F-18 Super Hornets for the new Bulgarian fighter has been disqualified as a non-responsive bid. This was stated in an interview by the Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Defence, Atanas Zapryanov, who added that the Boeing’s offer was incomplete and structured only as an intend, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Read more: Bulgaria Considering Boeing Super Hornets to Complement MiG-29s

Having in mind that the appointed committee of experts has refused to consider and evaluate Boeing’s F/A-18s bid, now Bulgaria selects between Lockheed Martin’s F-16s, Swedish Gripen fighters, and Leonardo’s second-hand Eurofighter jets. It is a known fact that the real competition will be between the first two offers, given that the representatives of the Bulgarian government have repeatedly stated that they want to buy new fighters for the Bulgarian Air Force.

Read more: The New Bulgarian Fighter Will Be Selected from among Four Bids

Another thing that Atanas Zapryanov revealed in his interview is that the conclusion of the contract will be delayed as there are no longer any set deadlines for the completion of the project. In regard to this, he commented: “We decided to use the positive experience of organizations such as NATO and the EU – if you want to achieve a good result, you do not have to set time parameters but to set quality parameters. We do not want to rush at the expense of the offers’ quality, we want to work as long as it is possible. Of course, as quickly as possible, but still do not restrict the participants to give us the maximum information we need.” Then, he emphasized that there are parameters for which, if the information is missing, bids cannot be further considered and evaluated.

Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Defence pointed out that the first expert committee, which was in charge with the analysis of the proposals, has already completed its work and has identified what additional information is needed, without rating the offers, because the group has no such obligation. Now the second political-military group, consisting of deputy ministers, will negotiate with the bidders in order to persuade them to provide all the necessary information and to improve their bids. The final decision will be political.

In general, Atanas Zapryanov said that at the moment there is no “ideal offer”. According to his words, they all are valid, but need further clarifications and improvements, adding that“there is much, much information to be clarified.”

Read more: Bulgaria’s Defence Minister Confirms the Delay of the Deal for the New Fighter

Bulgarian Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov also officially confirmed that the Boeing offer for new F / A-18s has dropped out and now the appointed committee will evaluate the other three offers, however he did not state any time parameters for the selection of a contractor.

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Source: Mediapool

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Bulgarian Navy Frigate Drazki Joins NATO Operation “Sea Guardian”

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Photo credit: MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

BURGAS, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – On 16 November, the Wielingen-class frigate Drazki, part of the Bulgarian Navy division of patrol ships for the NATO-led Mediterranean „Sea Guardian – 2018”, has sailed from its home port based in the town of Burgas, in order to take part in the operation, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

The frigate, which is set to participate in the NATO operation as part of the NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) employed in the Mediterranean Sea, has been sent to its mission with an official send-off ceremony, held last Friday. During it, the commander of a fleet of battle and auxiliary ships, fleet admiral Malen Chubenkov wished the crew successful implementation of the assigned tasks and safe sailing.

Read more: Topic related to NATO’s presence in Black Sea again subject to internal debates in Bulgaria

The sailing of the Bulgarian vessel includes several stages. During the first one, the ship will transit to the Suda port and will be engaged in the Passage Exercise (PASSEX), together with a vessel of the Hellenic Navy. Then the Drazki frigate will join the formation of the NATO tactical group.

Read more: U.S. and Bulgarian Navy Servicemen Participated in Joint Exercise in Varna

Along with the SNMG2, the Bulgarian vessel will participate in the NATO’ maritime security operation „Sea Guardian”, which aim is to maintain maritime situational awareness, deter and counter terrorism and enhance capacity building. In addition to „Sea Guardian”, Drazki will become part and of the Israeli Navy’s exercises „Crystal Sea”. In the port of Haifa, the participation in the NATO operation and in the training of the Israeli Navy will be analyzed. Upon leaving Haifa port, the Bulgarian warship will take part in a PASSEX-type training, along with ships from the Navy of Israel.

Read more: The Bulgarian and Romanian Naval Forces Started their Annual Exercise Poseidon 2018

Earlier this year, the mine hunter “Tsibar” of the Bulgarian Navy, has sailed to a 39-day overseas mission as part of the fleet of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2). It has been involved in the mine warfare exercise “Nusret 2018” led by the Turkish Navy in the Aegean Sea, as well as in the Bulgarian-Romanian “Poseidon 2018”.

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Source: MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

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Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Arrived in Bulgaria to Discuss Military Cooperation Expanding

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Photo credit: MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Yesterday, the Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Andrey Botsev welcomed an Armenian military delegation headed by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia, Lieutenant General Artak Davtyan, who pays a two-day formal visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Andrey Botsev himself, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

On the first day of the visitation,  a meeting was held to discuss prospects for expanding military cooperation between the two countries, with the participation of the Deputy Chiefs of Defence, the Commander of the Joint Forces Command, commanders of the Land Forces and the Air Forces as well as directors of Directorates of the Defence Staff.

Read more: General Andrey Botsev (Bulgaria) Attended a NATO Military Committee Conference

The Bulgarian Chief of Defence stated that this meeting allowed the participants not only to examine in detail the directions for further partnership, but also to exchange information on the development of the armed forces of both countries as well as on the participation in international operations and joint exercises.

In front of his interlocutors, Andrey Botsev stressed on the training and education of the military personnel as a very important element of the overall establishment of the armed forces and emphasized the possibility of future work towards expanding the collaboration between the military educational institutions of Bulgaria and Armenia.

“We believe that joint training and exercises are a good opportunity for cooperation and exchange of experience for establishing, certifying and supporting interoperable military formations,” the Bulgarian Chief of Defence said.

In addition to the prospects for expanding the bilateral military cooperation, the Bulgarian and Armenian participants at yesterday’s meeting also held talks on the common areas of interest and the possibilities for interaction concerning the partnership of the Republic of Armenia with NATO and the European Union.

Besides their meeting, earlier the same day General Andrey Botsev and Lieutenant General Artak Davtyan laid wreaths and flowers at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier in the centre of Sofia.

The schedule of the Armenian delegation in Bulgaria also included a visit to the Bulgarian Defence Minister, where Krasimir Karakachanov mainly discussed with his official guests the development of cooperation between the two countries in the field of defence.

Read more:
A Delegation of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence Will Visit the USA

It was pointed out that the visit of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Artak Davtyan to Bulgaria, contributes to developing the dialogue and strengthening the relationships between the two countries in the field of defence, based on mutual respect and understanding.

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Source: MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

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Seven Companies Confirm Participation in the New Patrol Boats Project for the Bulgarian Navy

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Some Underwater Stones in Military Deals That May Cost Billions
Photo credit: Pan.bg

SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Seven companies have confirmed their intention to submit proposals for one of the three largest projects related to the modernization of the Bulgarian Army – the one for the building of two multi-purpose patrol boats for the Bulgarian Navy. This was stated yesterday by the Chief of the Bulgarian Navy, Rear Admiral Mitko Petev, cited by the BNR, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

According to Petev, the candidates involve one company from Bulgaria, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain and two German companies as well. Their offers should be submitted by 15 February next year, after that the work of the appointed inter-ministerial working group will begin. It should come up with a proposal which is the most advantageous offer by 5 April. And the shipbuilding contract itself is expected to be signed by 31 May 2019.

Read more:
There is a risk for the defence of our territorial waters, stated the Counter Admiral Mitko Petev

The investment project for the acquisition of 2 multi-functional modular patrol vessels for the Bulgarian Navy has been approved by the 43rd National Assembly in June 2016, at which point, its expected maximum value was BGN 820 million.

BulgarianMilitary.com reminds that, in December, last year, the selected company – Varna-based shipyard MTG Dolphin, submitted a letter to the Ministry of Defence, announcing that it withdrew from the negotiations and the signing of the contract for the implementation of the investment project. As a reason for this was stated the reduction of the project value by 20% for investment expenditure, due to the introduced VAT on all military deals since 1 January 2017. This government decision was the reason several foreign companies, initially interested in the project, to withdraw and not to participate in the procurement.

Read more: MTG Dolphin withdrew their offer for building of two patrol boats

Earlier this year, the Bulgarian government has adopted an updated version of the project, which takes into account the above-mentioned amendments in the Value Added Tax Act. The main change in the restarted project is its maximum estimated value, namely BGN 984 million (VAT included). Compared to the investment project, initially adopted in 2016, the value of the restarted one is by BGN 164 million higher and it is allocated for payment in 2025 and 2026.

Two new options for acquisition are provided: purchase of a new defence product (modified for the need of the Bulgarian Navy) or licensed production and a combination of developing a new product and modifying an existing one.

Read more: The New Patrol Boats Project Is Restarted and Is Worth about BGN 1 Billion

The new multi-purpose modular patrol vessels are required to be equipped with basic armaments and ship’s items (options). The project involves the delivery of two multipurpose patrol ships, delivery of spare parts, providing training to the ship crews and integrated logistical support, as well (for the period of 3 years).

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BulgarianMilitary.com
Sources: Sega, Dnevnik

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