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Welcome Address by Mr. Krasimir Karakachanov – MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

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Welcome Address by Mr. Krasimir Karakachanov – MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

PLOVDIV (Bulgaria), May 30, 2018, Source: Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria, Photo: gabrovodaily.info

Dear Participants,

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

The International Exhibition Hemus 2018 – Defence, Antiterrorism and Security takes place during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In the course of these six months while all eyes of Europe are drawn to us, Bulgaria put forward four major priority areas, one of which is “Security and Stability”. The European citizens need security and stability. Without them, it will be difficult to foster and achieve European values. We will therefore focus our sustained efforts precisely on security, emphasizing the enhancement of border control, exchange of information and prevention.

In this context, the specialized international defence equipment exhibition Hemus 2018 that has won recognition over the years as an international forum, concentrating research, technologies, specific products and systems at a single venue, opens up a real opportunity for Bulgaria not only to host, but also to actively participate in the process of sharing both experience and ideas in the field of defence and security.

The priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency in the sphere of defence include active assistance in fulfilling the initiatives on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, support for the EU defence capability development, enhancing security of the Western Balkans and deepening the EU-NATO cooperation. Bulgaria emphasizes the work related to the proposal for а Regulation establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).

The EU and NATO policy reflects the unity of four key elements – security and defence capabilities, research and technologies, cooperation, and industry. Bulgaria as a full EU and NATO Member State is capable of working for the development of these key spheres by making use of the capabilities and potential provided by the European Defence Agency and the European Defence Fund especially under the Permanent Structures Cooperation (PESCO).

In this regard, we need to identify the right mechanisms to ensure broad participation and cooperation in research, technology, and production activities, both at the national and international levels. Hemus 2018 provides an opportunity for our country to go beyond the national context, as regards delivering defence capabilities in technological areas where Bulgaria has traditionally boasted research, development, and industrial capacity.

The dynamic security environment places new, higher demands on Bulgarian defence and the use of the Armed Forces in crisis situations in accordance with their constitutionally assigned duties and responsibilities. To guarantee the effective employment of our Armed Forces in crisis situations, we must first ensure that they have been sufficiently and adequately trained, enabled, and provided for in advance. This means managing to fully and efficiently utilize the financial resources provided by the Bulgarian taxpayer by turning them into actual defence capabilities. It is precisely this that is the philosophy underlying the governance programme elaborated by our Government. The parameters of our defence policy today are laid down in the national strategic documents adopted by the National Assembly and the Government: the updated National Security Strategy, the National Defence Strategy, the Programme for the Development of the Defence Capabilities of the Bulgarian Armed Forces 2020 (Programme 2020), and the ensuing Plan for the Development of Defence Capabilities 2020 (Plan 2020).

These parameters, however, are brought to fruition through the timely and full implementation of the measures specified in the “Defence” section of the Governance Programme of the Bulgarian Government. According to that Programme, work focuses on two main priorities: “The Armed Forces as a Reliable Guarantor of the Security of the Country” and “Introducing Military Training in Schools. Broadening the Possibilities for Voluntary Military Service. Increasing the Reserve’s Capacity.”

Six specific goals and 41 measures arise from these tasks. Presently, our efforts remain focused on the implementation of the goals set out in Programme 2020 and the activities addressed in Plan 2020. Based on the lessons learned from practice, our task is to fulfill to the fullest extent possible the priorities outlined in these documents within the prescribed timelines. At the same time, our strategic thinking, as a component of our activities, demands from us to consider the perspective of our efforts for the upcoming period – after 2020. The first step, the development of a roadmap for a new long-term strategic document, the Programme for the Development of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria until 2032, has already been taken, thus aligning our national level planning with NATO and EU planning process.

We have the ambitious goal to effect those Armed Forces modernization projects which should have already been finalized. And we have the will, in the process of modernization of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, to look into and provide opportunities and incentives for the presence of Bulgarian Defence Industry in this development.

Speaking of the financial parameters, we already avail of an adopted by the Council of Ministers National Plan for Increasing Defence Spending to 2% of GDP until 2024. This plan stipulates measures related to the implementation of our commitments both under NATO and the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation.

A new accent is that we envisage 20% of the budget to be allocated exactly for new and interoperable armaments and assets at high-end technology level. All these efforts are aimed at the achievement of our main goal – to enhance the position of Bulgaria as a strong, active, reliable and respected member of NATO and the European Union.

This context has triggered our major argument in favour of the theme of the International Scientific Conference: “Scientific Research, Innovation and Industrial Cooperation to the interest of the Common European Defence and Security”, to be held within the programme of Hemus 2018.

The 13th International exhibition Hemus 2018Defence, Aniterrorism and Security proposes an exceptional opportunity for the companies of the Bulgarian Defence Industry to showcase their achievements and establish new partnerships to ensure the development of defence capabilities.

The specialized International HEMUS Defence Equipment Exhibition is a recognized trademark in the sphere of defence industry and has become a forum for coordination and partnership between the Government, the Defence Industry, the Armed Forces and academia in pursuit of appropriate response to the risks and threats in the name of our common security.

I wish every success to all exhibitors, participants and guests of Hemus 2018Defence, Aniterrorism and Security!

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Bulgarian Air Force Commander Says the Deal for the New Fighter Won’t be Completed So Fast

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Bulgarian air force Maj. Gen. Konstantin Popov, U.S. Ambassador in Bulgaria James Warlick, Bulgarian Brig. Gen. Tsanko Stoykov and Col. Scott Reed, 48th Fighter Wing vice commander at Graf Ignatievo Air Force Base, Bulgaria (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tiffany M. Deuel) | lakenheath.af.mil

SOFIA, Bulgaria, (BulgarianMilitary.com) – In front of journalists, the Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force Major General Tsanko Stoykov shared his view on the purchase of the new Bulgarian fighter jets, saying that according to him the deal of the acquisition will not be completed as the Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov expects to be, namely by the end of the year, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

To the media, the Bulgaria’s Air Force Commander stated that the securing of such contract, usually takes place no earlier than 5-6 months, after the selecting of a supplier. Thus, he implied that the contract will be signed in the middle of the next year. Major General Tsanko Stoykov confirmed his words by referring to the experience of other countries that have launched and realized similar procurements over the past years. He also explained that the final protocol will be completed after the two appointed groups by the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence, finish their work and the final arrangement is made. According to him there won’t be any appeal against the decision of the working groups due to the clear procedure. The final decision will be political and after it is made, another group will be appointed which, this time, will work on a concrete contract.

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

Speaking on the question when the Bulgarian pilots could be ready to use their new fighter, Major General Tsanko Stoykov said that at the beginning a small group will be sent to be trained and after its returning, this group of already experienced pilots will teach and train the others till operational readiness. It is expected this period to last for about 4-5 years with the delivery, and maybe this will happen in the fourth or fifth year after the signing of the deal.

On the topic that the Italian respondent Leonardo has offered to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence and an option for newly-built Eurofighter, the Bulgaria’s Air Force Commander commented that the current group is working under the conditions that are listed as requirements in the request for proposals. To avoid attack, the working group will present a clear justification for their future decision and how it has been taken.

Read more:
Leonardo Offers and an Option for Newly Built Eurofighter to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence

In a conclusion, Major General Tsanko Stoykov said that he was not so much concerned about a delay of the acquisition. According to his words, it is much more important to be taken a reasoned decision which after that to be agreed with the supplier.

Read more:
The Comments on the Bids for the New Bulgarian Fighter are Now On

Read more: SAAB Gripen Played its Trump Card for the Deal of New Bulgarian Fighter Jets

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Source: Mediapool.bg

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State-Owned Military Plants in the Competition for the Overhaul of the Bulgarian Air Force’s Mi-17 and Mi-24V

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Photo credit: Defpost.com

SOFIA, Bulgaria, (BulgarianMilitary.com) – According to the information and documentation, published on the Bulgaria’s Defense Ministry website, related to the tender for the general overhaul of the Bulgarian Air Force’s Mi-17 transport and Mi-24V combat helicopters, it becomes clear that there are four competitors that have submitted documents for the current procurement. These are the Bulgarian state-owned aircraft repair plant Avionams, TEREM, as well as the Ukrainian aerospace company Motor Sich and the Belarusian state-owned Foreign Trade Unitary Enterprise Belspetsvneshtechnika, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

The tender for the repair of two Mi-17 and four Mi-24V helicopters has been launched at the end of July by the the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence and the deadline for the offers was due to September. The value of the procurement is 31 million levs ($18.5 million). It particularly refers to the signing of two separate framework agreements for every of the two types of helicopters. The winner will be expected to complete the general overhaul in the period of forty-eight months.

Avionams has submitted documents only for the repair of the two Mi-17 aircraft, while the other three participants’ documents have been for the overhaul of the both helicopters.

The Bulgarian Army continues to rely on its aging Russian helicopters. Previously the service used Mi-17 for the extinguishing of forest fires, but in June the last capable of flying helicopter crashed, leaving two people death. According to data from the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence, the Bulgarian helicopter fleet at the moment is in extremely bad condition. Of all the Army’s 28 helicopters, at the moment only eight fly, in particular of the five M-17, there is no one operational and of the five Mi-24 only one flies, of the twelve Cougar aircraft– fly three or four and of Bell – three. Compared to their NATO member states colleagues, the Bulgarian military pilots are to much more endangered by incidents, due to the lack of good equipment.

Read more: Only “558 ARP” Has Submitted Documents for the Bulgarian Su-25 Overhaul

Read more: Debts of Avionams at about BGN 15 Million Are on Sale

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Source: Mediapool.bg

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Leonardo Offers and an Option for Newly Built Eurofighter to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence

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Photo credit: Eurofighter.com

SOFIA, Bulgaria, (BulgarianMilitary.com) – In an recent official announcement made by the Italian respondent to the Bulgaria’s tender for the acquisition of eight fighter aircraft, Leonardo, it is said that the Italian government and the aerospace company have offered to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence and an optional delivery of newly built Eurofighter figthers, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

In particular, the Italian company states that its proposal to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence includes the supply of eight Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 combat aircraft, currently operated by the Italian Air Force. As well as and an option for the delivery of newly produced aircraft, which actually meets the Bulgarian requirements, but differs from what was announced on the opening of the bids on 1 October, that the Italian proposal is only for a second-hand Eurofighter jets.

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

The announcement refers to the words of the Leonardo’s Aircraft Division Managing Director, Lucio Valerio Cioffi, who revealed, in conclusion, the company’s readiness to supply to Bulgaria newly built aircraft as well as the Italian Air Force’s Tranche 1 Eurofighters. He said: “The Eurofighter has already demonstrated its outstanding capabilities while performing Air Policing activities in 2017 from Graf Ignatievo Air Force Base.” He added that according to him, Eurofighter Typhoon is a cost effective and attractive solution, which will provide the Bulgarian Air Force with capabilities to perform every mission. It will also give to our country, opportunities to participate in various European defense programs and initiatives, considering the fact that the Eurofighter Typhoon is the biggest and most successful defence collaboration program in Europe, with 623 aircraft ordered. However, the Italian company does not give more detailed information about its bid.

Read more: Technical information and unit prices of the five combat aircrafts for which Bulgaria will ask for offers

Previously, the Ministry of Defence considered the acquisition of Еurofighter as new fighter aircraft for the Bulgarian Air Force, and requested for a proposal from Germany, but did not get any. In a response to the recent announcement of Leonardo, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence said that no bid for new Eurofighter jets was received by 12.00 on October 1, when the submitting of proposals was due to.

BulgarianMilitary.com reminds that the proposals that have been submitted to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence include Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-16V by Lockheed Martin, Gripen C/D by SAAB and Eurofighter Typhoon by Leonardo. It is expected, by the end of the month, the appointed group of experts in the MoD to evaluate the proposals, regarding whether they meet the Bulgarian requirements. After that, a second politico-military group will held negotiations with the suppliers. The Bulgarian government hopes to conclude the deal by the end of the year, but the Defence Minister, Krasimir Karakachanov, recently admitted that this would not happen.

Read more: The Comments on the Bids for the New Bulgarian Fighter are Now On

Read more:
SAAB Gripen Played its Trump Card for the Deal of New Bulgarian Fighter Jets

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Source: Mediapool.bg

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Tactical Exercise Strike Back 2018 will be Held at Koren Field Training Ground

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Photo credit: Bulgarian Land Forces | Landforce.armf.bg

SOFIA, Bulgaria, (BulgarianMilitary.com) – For another year, the Bulgarian Army will conduct the tactical training exercise Strike Back. This year’s combat shooting drill will be held in the period between 16th and 19th October, at the Field Training Ground Koren. According to the announcement of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence, the theme of Strike Back 2018 will be “A reinforced mechanized battalion, operating as a front-line squad in a defensive operation”, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Along with the 42nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Yambol, in Strike Back 2018, will be involved about 700 servicemen and 172 units of combat and special equipment. More specifically, in the tactical training near the town of Haskovo, will participate soldiers and equipment, assigned to the 2nd Mechanized Brigade, as well as a tank platoon from the Specialists Training Center, Sliven, a smoke platoon from the 38th Nuclear, Chemical, Biological Protection and Ecology Regiment, Musachevo, a platoon for signal reconnaissance and electronic warfare from the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, Svoboda, cadets from “Vassil Levski” National Military University, and Air Force servicemen and aircraft.

Read more:
Divisions of the Anti-Aircraft Missile Base Train at the Field Training Ground “Koren”

An officer, responsible for the conducting of the tactical exercise is set to be the Commander of the 2nd Mechanized Brigade, Brigadier General Kostadin Kuzmov, and as a  director of Strike Back 2018 is assigned to be Col. Nedyalko  Nikov, deputy commander of 2nd Mechanized Brigade.

The upcoming drill not only aims to improve the training of the servicemen but also to enhance the cooperation of the participating military units during performing missions, related to occupation of a defense area, as well as its camouflage, and deployment of engineering equipment on its territory. During the tactical training, the participants will also carry out operations for defense and restrain in event of enemy attack.

The last day of Strike Back 2018 (19 October) is planned to be a day for the high-ranking guests who will attend the Field Training Ground Koren. Then, the troops, participating in the exercise, will demonstrate the level of their capabilities in performing actions during a defensive operation.

Read more:
Bulgaria Will Send 41 Servicemen to Participate in the Exercise Trident Juncture – 2018 in Norway

Read more:
Bulgarian Servicemen in Blue Bridge and Saber Junction 2018 Exercises

Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news from us, follow our Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. Do not miss the chance to subscribe to our newsletter.

BulgarianMilitary.com
Source: MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

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