SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The U.S corporation Lockheed Martin is discussing the possibility of cooperating with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) for the purchase of the F-16 fighters for which Bulgaria is currently negotiating with the U.S, the FOCUS News Agency reported, citing a new press release of the company, learned BulgarianMilitary.com .
With a view to advancing the process of acquiring the new combat aircraft for our Air Force, the U.S. manufacturer sent a delegation to Bulgaria that visited the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and discussed options for future partnership, says the press release.
During the meeting, the focus of the talks was on Lockheed Martin ‘s position as a global technology leader dedicated to the development of the next generation scientists, engineers and innovators, a vision shared by the BAS.
In the words of the International Vice President for Europe at Lockheed Martin, Jonathan Hoyle, who heads the delegation, the U.S. company sees the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences as an important partner in a world where technology is developing at an unprecedented rate.
The company’s representative said that American specialists showed interest in the BAS’ capabilities in areas such as research and development in defense, security and space, but also became more familiar with the agency’s work in areas such as cyber security, robotics, innovative sensors and technologies, which could be applied not only in the fields of defense and security but also on the market.
Lockheed Martin’s note to the Bulgarian media states: “The purchase of F-16 fighters for the Bulgarian Air Force will be a catalyst for a long-term strategic partnership in Bulgaria that will develop talented experts in the field of science and engineering needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
Lockheed Martin announced it continues to work with the Bulgarian and U.S. governments to identify cost-cutting options for the F-16 Block 70, but there is no public information yet what discount rate is possible.
In addition to company’s intention to cooperate with BAS, Lockheed Martin reaffirms its commitment to provide economic and industrial benefits to Bulgaria in connection with the acquisition of the F-16 Block 70. This would contribute to Bulgaria’s national security, as well as would create an opportunity for a long-term development of the Bulgarian Air Force.
Bulgaria is negotiating with the U.S. for the purchase of 8 fighters, but the initial offer exceeded the planned budget of BGN 1.8 billion. However, the Parliament has voted to give the Government a mandate to start negotiations with the U.S. on the technical and financial parameters of the future contract.
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Sources: News.bg, Dnevnik