SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The new Bulgarian fighter will be selected from among four bids from three countries (the USA, Sweden and Italy) for new Boeing F-16s, Lockheed Martin F-18s and Gripen fighters, and second-hand Eurofighter jets under the tender procedure for the purchase of new combat jets for the needs of the Bulgarian Air Force, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
The bids had been submitted to the Ministry of the Defence and they were opened there on Monday /1st October 2018/.
It is foreseen 8-9 aircraft at the amount of BGN 1.8 billion to be purchased after a supplier is selected. For that purpose the Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov expects the relevant contract to be signed with the winner till the end of this year. The draft agreement is expected to be ready till 1st December 2018. The amount foreseen for the aircraft includes the purchase itself, funds for land service, training of pilots and engineers, armaments and maintenance for 3 years. The payment will be in instalments for a period of nine years.
The new Boeing F-18s and F-16s by Lockheed Martin are offered by the USA, the Gripens – by Sweden, and the Eurofighter jets – by Italy.
A group of experts has 14 days now to evaluate the received offers on the grounds of set criteria as explained by Atanas Zapryanov. Within that period additional information and documents could be requested from the participants in the tender procedure, if needed. The final decision of the evaluation committee will be classified information.
According to military and political sources the favourite as of the moment is the latest modification of the F-16 V (Viper).
During the implementation of the second stage of the Project, it will be purchased 8 more fighters and after that the old MiG-29s will be landed and decommissioned.
Read more: Official: Bulgaria Will Request Bids for 5 Combat Aircrafts and Their Modifications
Read more: Technical information and unit prices of the five combat aircrafts for which Bulgaria will ask for offers
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