SOFIA, Bulgaria, (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The Bulgaria’s Ministry of Defence has submitted an official Letter of Request (LOR) to the U.S. Government in connection with the purchase of the F-16 fighters. This was confirmed in a statement made by the Defence Ministry, reported yesterday, by web portal of the Bulgarian aviation magazine AERO, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The request for Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) was signed by the Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov and was sent last Friday (22th February) after Bulgaria has already passed the LOR definition phase, which was held a few weeks ago.
The LOR is one of the first stages of the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS). In this process the customer prepares and submits a LOR requesting either Price and Availability (P&A) data or a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA).
Now, our country is waiting an official Letter of Offer and Acceptance – LOA by the U.S., which usually takes from 30 to 90 days, but for more complicated deals and new customers (such as Bulgaria), the answer is given within 90 days.
Then, the Pentagon notifies the Congress about the forthcoming arms export deal, which happens within 10 to 20 days, followed by a 15-day period when the members of the Congress get acquainted with the deal and have the right to disagree with it. The LOA is submitted to the customer only after this deadline expires.
These are not firm deadlines and for them it is possible to vary slightly, but it may be expected that within 120 days, which is the second half of June 2019, the LOA on the deal for 8 F-16 Block 70 fighters to be offered by the U.S.
The LOA includes a 60-day “offer expiration date,” within which either it must be signed or a renegotiation procedure to be initiated. If Bulgaria decides to make serious changes to the offer, it has to request a new LOA from the beginning.
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Sources: Aeropress, Dnevnik