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Defence Minister: Our Primary Concern is the Life of the Airmen

Defence Minister: Our Primary Concern is the Life of the Airmen

The main concern of the leadership of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Bulgarian Army is to ensure a good quality of life for the service members, decent pay and working conditions, and equipment of sufficient quality, so that the Armed Forces are able to fulfil their constitutionally assigned duties. This is what Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov said to journalists today, October 24th, as regards training flights at Graf Ignatievo Airbase.

“Yes, the aviation does have problems and you know very well what our position is: we are going to undertake the task of simultaneously overhauling and modernizing the existing aircraft, and at the same we are going to proceed to purchasing a new type of fighter aircraft,”

said the Defence Minister.

He made it clear that at his meeting earlier today with Graf Ignatievo Airbase Commander Brig. Gen. Ivan Lalov and Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Tsanko Stoykov, the issue of MiG-29 engines delivered under the Contract entered into by and between the MoD and Aviostart OOD in November 2016 was brought up.

“We want full respect of the obligations as per the contract signed, because our main concern is the life of the airmen. We cannot risk accepting some engines without full and accurate fulfilment of all contractual obligations, lest a fatal accident should happen. The army’s most valuable assets are its people,”

Minister Karakachanov asserted.

He pointed out that over the six months for which the current Government has been in power, he has been making efforts to solve the problems in the Armed Forces with regard to all three services. The new projects on the modernization of the Air Force, the Navy, and the Land Forces, as well the earmarking of 100 million Bulgarian lev to raise the pay of the service members are proof of the desire to motivate the personnel by decent salaries and new equipment which will enable them to improve their skills, thus enhancing the capabilities of the Bulgarian Army.

“I cannot accept allegations of strikes and turbulence. The Armed Forces are not a kindergarten and no one, be it within the Air Force or the other Armed Forces services, has ever considered such actions,”

declared Minister Karakachanov. He pointed out that the case would be exploited for political speculations but “what the Leadership of the Ministry of Defence will further is guaranteeing the airworthiness of the aircraft as human life is of first and foremost value.”

Brigadier General Ivan Lalov, Commander of 3rd Graf Ignatievo Airbase stated that he and his colleagues categorically distance themselves from words like “riot”. “The flight crews do not defy. The flight crew has the right, each one pilot, when they don’t feel confident in their ability to implement a task, to report to the commander and hold back from performing the mission. As we are carrying out training flights and are not in a state of war, it so happened that on that day the flight crew to take over the planned daily shift felt unable to perform the tasks, reported the situation and we cancelled flights. Such are the rules in aviation. Yet, service members take off and sometimes they don’t come back,” he added.

In his words, specifically Graf Ignatievo Airbase has many serious problems with the aviation equipment operability.

“To be able to train the pilots, we need sufficient number of airworthy assets, capable of performing regular flights and implementing their missions. Despite the few flight hours we avail of, the flight crews train and continue to be on Air Policing alerts and perform joint flights with their Italian colleagues,”

he emphasized.

Source: MoD | Photo: © MoD

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Bulgarian Military News

Crashed WW II Military Aircraft Found Near a Bulgarian Village

Crashed WW II Military Aircraft Found Near a Bulgarian Village

SOFIA (Bulgaria), May 18, 2018, Author: Bm News Team, Photo: Bulgarian Air Force

On 18th May 2018, the Bulgarian Air Force announced on their website further information in relation to the unique operation for dragging out the remains of a crashed WW II military aircraft, found accidentally during routine draining works within а swampy terrain near the village of Maritsa, Bulgaria.

The operation has started on 11th May 2018 and will continue till the task is completed. It is being performed with the joint efforts of the Bulgarian Air Force and Land Forces, the Military Police Service and the Military Medical Academy, as well as with the coordination activities on behalf of the Joint Forces Command

After orders of the Defence Minister, Krasimir Karakachanov, and the Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force, Major General Tsanko Stoykov, a working group led by Colonel Kalin Tsenov are continuing the works on the recovery of the found military aircraft, which, as of the moment, is considered to be Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 – a German World War II fighter aircraft.

Crashed WW II Military Aircraft Found Near a Bulgarian Village

Messerschmitt Bf 109, Photo credit: Wikipedia

It is a very important finding for Bulgaria, because the found fighter appears to be the “biggest physical trace of the heroism of the Bulgarian fighter-pilot, who have given their lives defending the Bulgarian sky during the World War II,” stated from the Bulgarian Air Force.

As of the moment, it has been discovered the following aircraft parts, which are considered to be of impotance: an engine Db 605, a propeller hub, barrel of a 20 mm MG 151/20 weapon, approximately 150 aircraft catridges and links, and various units and parts of the aircraft, bearing authentic factory numbers.

All gathered parts will be handed over to the National Museum of Military History, where they will be prepared for exhibiting to the public. The aircraft and its engine were identified with the help of lovers of aviation history.

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Bulgarian Military News

The Ministers of Defence of the EU Member States Meet in Sofia

The Ministers of Defence of the EU Member States Meet in Sofia

SOFIA (Bulgaria), May 4, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova (Bm), Photo:  

The Ministers of Defence of the EU member states meet in Sofia, announced from the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence.

The two-day Informal Meeting starts today, 4th May 2018, and is part of the official calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The meeting will be hosted by the Minister of Defence, Krasimir Karakachanov and besides the EU Defence Ministers, representatives of the United Nations, NATO, the European Commission, the European Union Military Committee, the EU Military Staff, and other EU authorities will be also attendants.

Some of the topics that will be discussed are the major activities of the European Defence Agency, the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the Action Plan on military mobility, and the perspectives for crisis management.

Within the Informal Meeting it will be also held a session of the European Defence Agency.

On Friday, 4th May, the Minister of Defence Krasimir Karakachanov and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy /Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini will welcome officially the Heads of the Delegations at Boyana Residence at 7:30pm, after which a photo of the participants in the Informal Meeting will be taken at 8:10pm.

On Saturday, 5th May, at 7:30am, the Minister of Defence Krasimir Karakachanov will welcome the Heads of the delegations in the National Palace of Culture (Entrance A6). After the working sessions, there will be a press conference, hold by the Minister of Defence of Bulgaria, Krasimir Karakachanov, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, at Hall 6 of the National Palace of Culture, starting at 12.15pm (noon).

The access to Boyana Residence and the National Palace of Culture for the above mentioned activities will be allowed only to accredited representatives of the media.

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Bulgarian Military News

Bulgaria Will Pay the First Instalment for Repair of the MiG-29s. The Atlantic Council Disputes the Signed Contract

Bulgaria has decided to repair the MiGs for € 40 mln.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), April 25, 2018, Author: Boyko Nikolov (Bm), Photo: Airgroup 2000

Today, at a regular meeting of the Council of Ministers, the Republic of Bulgaria approved the payment of the first instalment of BGN 26 million for repair of the Bulgarian MiG-29s.

The money is foreseen in the budget of the Ministry of Defence for repair of the aircrafts in question in accordance with the signed agreement between the Bulgarian country and the Russian company RSK MiG.

In its entirety, the financing in question should provide Bulgaria with execution of the undertaken engagements for air defence and implementation of the NATO’s collective defence mechanisms and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union.

Today it became clear that the contract with the Russian Federation is being disputed by the Atlantic Club. In accordance with the Organization whose members are lots of military specialists and other experts, there are particular texts that are in favour of the Russians. For example, it is left to RSK MiG to define what the deadlines for execution of the activities under the contracts will be, regardless of the priorities of the Ministry of Defence.
Aviation experts, including the president Rumen Radev, disputed the scope of the order by indicating that the purchase of new machinery shall be considered as a priority.

It shall be reminded that the agreement itself is worth the total amount of BGN 82 million and was offered in the end of last year when the Ukrainian company UKROboronProm referred to the Commission for Protection of Competition and tried to stop the procedure on awarding of the public procurement.

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No Bulgarian Service Members Injured in Kabul Bombing

No Bulgarian Service Members Injured in Kabul Bombing

SOFIA (Bulgaria), April 23, 2018, Text: BM News Team, Photo: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

No Bulgarian service members were injured on Sunday, 22nd April 2018, in the explosion in the Afghan capital Kabul. This was said by the National Commander of the 35th Rotating Bulgarian Military Contingent in Afghanistan – Colonel Georgi Margitin, reported the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA).

The explosion took place at quite big distance from the base where the Bulgarian service members are deployed in support of the NATO’s Resolute Support mission.

Since the start of the registration process on 14th April for elections scheduled for October in Afghanistan, this is the first attack in Kabul against a voter registration centre, outside which a bomber blew himself up on Sunday, 22nd April. At least 57 people were killed and 119 were injured, but the total numbers would probably rise. Nearby cars and buildings were also destroyed.

Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

A month ago on 21st March there was another attack in Kabul. The victims then were over 30, and the injured people – at least 70. The responsibility for the attack then was also claimed by the Islamic State.

The attack on 22nd April is reported to be the deadliest attack in Kabul since January when 100 people were killed by explosives hidden in an ambulance.

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