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Bulgarian Military News

Official: Bulgaria Will Request Bids for 5 Combat Aircrafts and Their Modifications

Saudi Arabia Is Closer to Finalizing Another Deal for BAE’s Typhoon Jets

SOFIA, Bulgaria, July 26, 2018, Author: Boyko Nikolov, Photo credit: Eurofighter

On the website of the Defence Ministry of the Republic of Bulgaria a document was published entitled “Acquisition of a new type of combat aircraft – updated investment cost project”, which actually presents the intention of the country to purchase new combat aircrafts for renovating its aviation fleet and meeting the NATO requirements, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

Bulgaria will request bids for five combat aircrafts and their modifications from 7 countries, new and used respectively. According to the document, our country will submit inquiries as follows:
– From the USA we will expect brand new F-16 Block 60 or Block 70 and F/A–18E/F Super Hornet, as well as bids for the their used versions, but with their equivalent modifications;
– From Portugal we will expect a bid for used F-16 MLU OFP М6 (Third Party Transfer)
– From Israel we will expect bids for used F-16 C/D (Third Party Transfer) upgraded to the version OFP М6 (or such with equivalent capabilities)
– From Italy we will expect bids for used Eurofighter Tranche 1
– From Germany we will expect bids for brand new Eurofighter Tranche 3
– From France we will expect bids for brand new and used Dassault Rafale
– From Sweden we will expect bids for Gripen C/D and for used Gripen C/D upgraded to the current configuration in the NATO member states (Hungary and the Czech Republic)

Exclusive information: Technical information and unit prices of the five combat aircraft for which Bulgaria will ask for offers

Read more: Israel Will Enter the Competition for Bulgarian New Fighters
Read more: Bulgaria Considering Boeing Super Hornets to Complement MiG-29s

How Bulgaria will pay the future order?
The Ministry of Defence has prepared a payment plan for the next 10 years, and in the period from 2018 to 2020 it is foreseen BGN 300 million to be paid, from 2021 to 2024 – BGN 800 million and from 2025 to 2027 – the rest BGN 700 million or BGN 1,8 billion in total. However, the Ministry of Defence notes that changes in the plan in question are allowed.

What are the major parameters of the project?
Bulgaria plans to purchase 16 combat aircrafts and the implementation of the whole project to happen in two main stages.

The first stage foresees the acquisition of minimum 8 combat aircrafts, and the first two will be delivered 24 months after the contract is signed. In this stage the time framework covers the longest period of 6 years, during which the aircrafts, spare parts, means for ground service and training to be provided.

It is foreseen the second stage to start with the signing of a new contract for its realization, which foresees the delivery of the rest quantity of combat aircrafts. For the Bulgarian Air Defence this stage is of extreme importance as it foresees, exactly in this period, to be achieved full operational readiness for the execution of the tasks under the Air Policing Program.

Why Bulgaria shall replace MiG-29 with new combat aircrafts?
The current MiG-29s of the Bulgarian Army have the so called “capability deficiency” on the ground of the year when they were produced and the advanced military technologies. This capability deficiency is expressed in several directions, but the main ones are communication systems incompatible with the NATO member states, different radius of action, lack of protected communication in Have Quick II and Secure Voice modes, incompatible tactical radio line for voice and data exchange, etc.

Read more: Bulgaria Will Pay the First Instalment for Repair of the MiG-29s. The Atlantic Council Disputes the Signed Contract
Read more: Dogfight! F-16V Viper versus J-39E Gripen: Who Wins?

Why is it necessary bids to be requested again when the Gripen was already selected in 2017?
In the middle of December 2016 inquiries/requests for submission of bids for purchase of new or used combat aircrafts were sent to the four countries (Sweden, Italy, Portugal, and the USA). The received answers were reviewed and analysed in accordance with an approved methodology. The results were submitted to the Council of Ministers for final decision. For that purpose the National Assembly formed a temporary parliamentary committee for investigation of the fulfilment of the procedure on selection of a new type of combat aircraft. In its report, the committee recommended the Ministry of Defence to resend inquiries/requests for submission of bids. In the meantime, lots of meetings with representatives of countries and companies offering/manufacturing contemporary multi-purpose aircrafts were conducted in the Ministry of Defence. As a result from these meetings it was concluded that, as of the beginning of 2018, the number of the aircrafts meeting the obligatory major requirements and within the financial framework of BGN 1.8 billion with VAT is significantly larger than the foreseen one.

Read more: Saab expects talks to supply jets to Bulgaria to start within months

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A Delegation of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence Will Visit the USA

A Delegation of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence Will Visit the USA

SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), 21 August 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: Lockheed Martin/ F-16 Block 70

A delegation of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence led by the Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov will visit the USA from 27th to 31st August 2018, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The visit is organized after an invitation of the Chief of US Office of Defence Cooperation in Sofia, Bulgaria and is prompted by the declared willingness for partnership in sectors of mutual interest, as well as by the readiness for increasing the strategic dialogue between both countries as reported from the Ministry.

Read more: U.S. and Bulgarian Navy Servicemen Participated in Joint Exercise in Varna
Read more: Bulgarian Navy Will Receive New Motorboats for $2 million as a Donation from US

The schedule of the Deputy Defence Minister Zapryanov in Washington involves meetings in the Pentagon, the State Department, and the US Congress.

Unofficial information reveals that the future offer, which is expected to be submitted by the USA in relation to the procedure for selection of a new fighter for the Bulgarian Army, will be also covered by the discussions with the Bulgarian Delegation in Washington. As BulgarianMilitary.com reported recently, it has been sent to the USA requests for information about new or used aircrafts – the Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin’s F-16, however, as it has been stated several times by the Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov, it is given preference to the purchase of a new fighter. The interest of the Bulgarian Air Force as of the moment is directed toward the newest generation of the Fighting Falcon F-16 – Block 70/72, known as Viper.

Inquiries for offers for new and used aircrafts have been also sent from the Ministry of Defence to the Swedish Saab (for Gripen C/D) and the French Dassault (for the Rafale); for new aircrafts – to the German Eurofighter (for Eurofighter 3 Tranche); for used aircrafts – to Portugal (for F-16), Israel (for F-16) and Italy (for Eurofighter Tranche 1). The final price, which will be discussed after the offers are received, shall include training of pilots and technicians, sustainment, and armaments.

It is expected the contract to be signed by the end of 2018.

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

US companies also show interest in the procedure for selection of 150 infantry combat vehicles.

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U.S. and Bulgarian Navy Servicemen Participated in Joint Exercise in Varna

U.S. and Bulgarian Navy Servicemen Participated in Joint Exercise in Varna
The US Navy (USN) Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer USS CARNEY (DDG 64) underway on the Atlantic Ocean during routine training / Photo credit: Josa Charles A. Ordoqit, USN

VARNA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), 16 August 2018, Editor: Stanislava Georgieva

On 13 August, servicemen from the U.S. and Bulgarian Naval Forces participated in the joint PASSEX-type exercise that this time took place in the Gulf of Varna on the Black Sea. In the training also were involved an American destroyer squadron “USS CARNEY”, which is currently in the Black Sea, and a tactical group of four high-speed patrol boats, which previously were donated by the U.S. Naval Forces to the Bulgarian, and now have the chance to be tested, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Read more: Bulgarian Navy Will Receive New Motorboats for $2 million as a Donation from US

PASSEX is a type of training that is usually done between the Naval Forces of two countries in order to ensure they are capable of interoperability in means of communication and cooperation in times of war or humanitarian relief.

During the training the Bulgarian and U.S. Navy servicemen completed a wide range of tasks such as detecting, tracking, and acquaintance of a high-speed, afloat enemy, which in this case was SURFEX 310. They also performed scenes of detecting asymmetric attacks that had become typical in the modern naval environment. To them are assigned cyber attacks and terrorist tactics.

Read more: The Bulgarian Navy Corvette Bodri Is Participating in Sea Breeze 2018

The exercise was attended by Vice Admiral Lisa Francheti, commander of the US Navy’s 6th Fleet, who is currently deployed in the Black Sea region and the Commander of the Bulgarian Navy Rear Admiral Mitko Petev. Before the start of the training, both of them spoke about the importance in the synchronization of the work and the interoperability of the U.S. and Bulgarian Naval Forces. Later on, they supervised the course of the training from the board of a FPB-M high-speed patrol boat.

The U.S. and Bulgarian Naval Forces that took part in the drill, showed very good tactical preparation. The crew and the group were also appreciated by the Commanders for their interaction capabilities in the joint implementation of tasks and elements of their sea training.

About USS CARNEY
USS Carney (DDG-64) is the 14th destroyer squadron from the Arleigh Burke-class of the United States Naval forces. The ship is named after a former Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Robert Carney, who served during the administration of the U.S. President Eisenhower. In 2012, the destroyer squadron USS Carney has been upgraded into guided-missile destroyer as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Read more: The Bulgarian Naval Exercise BREEZE 2018 is Ongoing

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Bulgarian Naval Forces 139th Anniversary Celebrations in Varna

The Celebrations for the 139th Anniversary of the Bulgarian Navy Started in Ruse

VARNA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), 13 August 2018, Editor: Stanislava Georgieva, Photo credit: BNR

After the official events in Ruse, the celebrations for the 139th anniversary of the Bulgarian Naval Forces, continued in Varna, where on 12th August were held solemn ceremonies, with the participation of Bulgarian official, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

The celebrations in Varna were attended by the President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev, the Deputy Defense Minister Anatoliy Velichkov, the Chief of Defense General Andrey Botsev, senior officers from the Bulgarian Army and representatives of the state and local authorities, as well.

Read more: The Celebrations for the 139th Anniversary of the Bulgarian Navy Started in Ruse

The official events began with the awarding of diplomas and military ranks to “Class – 2018” of Naval Academy “N. J. Vaptsarov” graduated cadets. Sixteen cadets were awarded officer epaulettes – 6 girls and 10 boys from “Organization and Management Of Navy Tactical Units” discipline, with specialization in “Navigation for the Navy”, “Naval Communication and Radio electronic Systems” and “Ship machines and mechanisms.” Michman Nikolay Genov is the first of the class among the graduated cadets, whose average grade is “Excellent 5.80”.

In his speech, addressed to the newly-graduated naval officers, Anatoliy Velichkov, Deputy Defense Minister wished them to be decisive and to carry their ancestors’ inextinguishable ardor for victory in their hearts.

“In today’s trouble times, when the focus in Black Sea region implies the establishment of huge energy projects, and along with them the increasing military capabilities of other maritime countries, the Ministry of Defense political will is to accomplish the modernization projects and to build new fighting capabilities of the Naval Forces,” he said.

He also acknowledged the teaching staff and the management of the Naval Academy, by saying that with every graduated class they prove their clear vision in the developing of such military personnel that is necessary for the maritime industry and the military fleet as well.

General Andrey Botsev, Chief of Defense, also congratulated the young “Class – 2018” officers of the Naval Academy. He said that they are the new generation that will contribute to the progress of better Bulgarian Army preparation and will ensure Bulgarian maritime sovereignty. “In future, we will rely on you for the development of the Naval Forces”, he added and wished them a lot of success and a tough fighting spirit.

After the diploma ceremony, those who present the Navy celebrations observed elements of a maritime security operation to detain a vessel.

Later on that day, a military ceremony for unveiling a memorial plaque placed on the wall of the pier of Varna Marine station was held. The memorial plaque was gifted by the organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” for their gratitude to the Varna community and Bulgarian sailors.

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700 Servicemen Participated in the Demonstrations within “PLATINUM LION – 2018” Exercise

The Multinational Joint Exercise "Platinium Lion 18" Begins

SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), 9 August 2018, Editor: Stanislava Georgieva, Photo credit: Mil.Gov.ua

On 8 August, this year was held the final stage of the multinational joint exercise „PLATINUM LION – 2018“ at Novo Selo training area that started in 30 July and is scheduled to finish on 10 August. The final demonstrations were observed by the Deputy Chief of Defence Vice Admiral, Emil Eftimov and Chief of the Political Cabinet of the Minister of Defence, Mr. Iliya Nalbantov. The first praised the Land Forces for the demonstrated capabilities of planning, organizing and conducting a stabilizing operation in the appointed area of responsibility of a multinational formation. In this year’s training, armies from eight NATO member states and partner countries take part, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Read more: The Multinational Joint Exercise “Platinium Lion 18” Begins

On Wednesday, the servicemen who participated in the multinational joint exercise have showed the acquired skills and interoperability for conducting tactical actions in a peacekeeping operation. During the training various tasks were completed by the mechanized, mine launcher and tank formations, in the area of defense, offense, patrolling, deploying of control posts, convoying, escorting, as well as actions in urban environment and protection under conditions of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological contamination, also providing fire protection and first aid actions and evacuating injured people.

In front of the journalists the Deputy Commander of the Land Forces Brigadier General Valeri Tsolov, who is in charge of this year “PLATINUM LION” plan, said that he is extremely pleased with the actions of the Bulgarian soldiers of all levels including the planning team of the Land Forces, the 2nd Mechanized Brigade, the companies and platoons commanding officers that skillfully conducted the actions of their subordinate formations, and the tactical actions of the polygon as well.

Read more: The Bulgarian Special Forces Will Participate in a NATO Mission in Afghanistan

„PLATINUM LION – 2018“ is the first from the “PLATINUM LION“ Exercise that is planned and conducted by the the Land Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria. 700 servicemen take part in this year training at Novo Selo training polygon, involving military personnel of Second mechanized brigade of the Bulgarian Land Forces personnel, Specialists training center in Sliven, the Air Forces, Military Police Service, Military Medical Academy, and troops from the Albania, Georgia, Romania, Moldova, Serbia, U.S. and Montenegro. The tasks within „PLATINUM LION – 2018” were completed with more than 100 units of armored vehicles, armored fighting vehicles, artillery systems, 4 tanks, Mi-24 helicopters, Cougar helicopters and other specialized equipment.

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