Bulgaria terminated an order to repair Russian air-to-air missiles

SOFIA, ($1=1.67 Bulgarian Levas) – The Minister of Defense Georgi Panayotov has terminated the order for repair of the R-27 long-range air-to-air missiles for the MiG-29 aircraft due to technical violations in the procedure, which cannot be eliminated, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing SEGA. The order has an estimated value of BGN 21.6 million [$12 million] without VAT and envisages the repair of 18 R-27 air-to-air missiles.

The order was launched by the government of Boyko Borissov at the end of 2019 and is moving slowly, including due to the pandemic. The order must now be re-announced. However, there are many questions about it, as the Bulgarian fighter aircraft is about to move to the F-16, and the implementation of a new procedure and repair of missiles will take years and will coincide with the time when we will receive the first American machines.

The order is of interest to her from two companies – the Ukrainian “Ukrinmash” and the Belarusian “Belspetsvneshtekhnika”. Bulgaria still relies only on the old MiG-29 fighters, whose support passes mainly through Russia. The last government of Boyko Borissov concluded a framework agreement with the Russians for over BGN 80 million, under which a series of contracts were signed, which were to reduce the tension in the Air Force and ensure the implementation of the Air Policing mission.

For the period 2006-2020, Bulgaria concluded contracts for the maintenance of the MiG-29 worth a total of BGN 275 million without VAT. Although the country bought 8 new F-16 Block 70 aircraft from the United States and Lockheed Martin for more than BGN 2 billion, the MiGs are expected to continue to be used until 2029, when their resource expires.

$10M Bulgarian ‘defense’ money disappeared in Serbia

The Bulgarian defense company VMZ-Sopot has transferred $10 million to a Serbian company in 2018, but nothing was received for that money. This became clear during a hearing in the Temporary Parliamentary Audit Committee.

The amount was paid under a contract for the supply of products worth more than $ 20 million. The chairman of the commission, Maya Manolova, said that the delivery should have taken place within 60 days, but this had not happened for three years, and the information on the deal was classified.

“According to public information, the payment was made by order of the Minister of Economy or the Prime Minister. It seems that one of them has paid a” calmness “fee with public money in the direction of Serbia,” Manolova said. However, it was not clear from her words why this “fee” had to be paid and to whom exactly.

Representatives of the Management Board of VMZ-Sopot said that they do not have access to the documentation on the deal because it is classified at the request of the executive director of the company. “The documentation on the deal has been handed over to the prosecutor’s office,” said Economy Minister Kiril Petkov during the meeting.

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