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