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Bulgarian Military News

Welcome Address by Mr. Krasimir Karakachanov – MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

Welcome Address by Mr. Krasimir Karakachanov – MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

PLOVDIV (Bulgaria), May 30, 2018, Source: Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria, Photo:

Dear Participants,

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

The International Exhibition Hemus 2018 – Defence, Antiterrorism and Security takes place during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In the course of these six months while all eyes of Europe are drawn to us, Bulgaria put forward four major priority areas, one of which is “Security and Stability”. The European citizens need security and stability. Without them, it will be difficult to foster and achieve European values. We will therefore focus our sustained efforts precisely on security, emphasizing the enhancement of border control, exchange of information and prevention.

In this context, the specialized international defence equipment exhibition Hemus 2018 that has won recognition over the years as an international forum, concentrating research, technologies, specific products and systems at a single venue, opens up a real opportunity for Bulgaria not only to host, but also to actively participate in the process of sharing both experience and ideas in the field of defence and security.

The priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency in the sphere of defence include active assistance in fulfilling the initiatives on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, support for the EU defence capability development, enhancing security of the Western Balkans and deepening the EU-NATO cooperation. Bulgaria emphasizes the work related to the proposal for а Regulation establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).

The EU and NATO policy reflects the unity of four key elements – security and defence capabilities, research and technologies, cooperation, and industry. Bulgaria as a full EU and NATO Member State is capable of working for the development of these key spheres by making use of the capabilities and potential provided by the European Defence Agency and the European Defence Fund especially under the Permanent Structures Cooperation (PESCO).

In this regard, we need to identify the right mechanisms to ensure broad participation and cooperation in research, technology, and production activities, both at the national and international levels. Hemus 2018 provides an opportunity for our country to go beyond the national context, as regards delivering defence capabilities in technological areas where Bulgaria has traditionally boasted research, development, and industrial capacity.

The dynamic security environment places new, higher demands on Bulgarian defence and the use of the Armed Forces in crisis situations in accordance with their constitutionally assigned duties and responsibilities. To guarantee the effective employment of our Armed Forces in crisis situations, we must first ensure that they have been sufficiently and adequately trained, enabled, and provided for in advance. This means managing to fully and efficiently utilize the financial resources provided by the Bulgarian taxpayer by turning them into actual defence capabilities. It is precisely this that is the philosophy underlying the governance programme elaborated by our Government. The parameters of our defence policy today are laid down in the national strategic documents adopted by the National Assembly and the Government: the updated National Security Strategy, the National Defence Strategy, the Programme for the Development of the Defence Capabilities of the Bulgarian Armed Forces 2020 (Programme 2020), and the ensuing Plan for the Development of Defence Capabilities 2020 (Plan 2020).

These parameters, however, are brought to fruition through the timely and full implementation of the measures specified in the “Defence” section of the Governance Programme of the Bulgarian Government. According to that Programme, work focuses on two main priorities: “The Armed Forces as a Reliable Guarantor of the Security of the Country” and “Introducing Military Training in Schools. Broadening the Possibilities for Voluntary Military Service. Increasing the Reserve’s Capacity.”

Six specific goals and 41 measures arise from these tasks. Presently, our efforts remain focused on the implementation of the goals set out in Programme 2020 and the activities addressed in Plan 2020. Based on the lessons learned from practice, our task is to fulfill to the fullest extent possible the priorities outlined in these documents within the prescribed timelines. At the same time, our strategic thinking, as a component of our activities, demands from us to consider the perspective of our efforts for the upcoming period – after 2020. The first step, the development of a roadmap for a new long-term strategic document, the Programme for the Development of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria until 2032, has already been taken, thus aligning our national level planning with NATO and EU planning process.

We have the ambitious goal to effect those Armed Forces modernization projects which should have already been finalized. And we have the will, in the process of modernization of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, to look into and provide opportunities and incentives for the presence of Bulgarian Defence Industry in this development.

Speaking of the financial parameters, we already avail of an adopted by the Council of Ministers National Plan for Increasing Defence Spending to 2% of GDP until 2024. This plan stipulates measures related to the implementation of our commitments both under NATO and the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation.

A new accent is that we envisage 20% of the budget to be allocated exactly for new and interoperable armaments and assets at high-end technology level. All these efforts are aimed at the achievement of our main goal – to enhance the position of Bulgaria as a strong, active, reliable and respected member of NATO and the European Union.

This context has triggered our major argument in favour of the theme of the International Scientific Conference: “Scientific Research, Innovation and Industrial Cooperation to the interest of the Common European Defence and Security”, to be held within the programme of Hemus 2018.

The 13th International exhibition Hemus 2018Defence, Aniterrorism and Security proposes an exceptional opportunity for the companies of the Bulgarian Defence Industry to showcase their achievements and establish new partnerships to ensure the development of defence capabilities.

The specialized International HEMUS Defence Equipment Exhibition is a recognized trademark in the sphere of defence industry and has become a forum for coordination and partnership between the Government, the Defence Industry, the Armed Forces and academia in pursuit of appropriate response to the risks and threats in the name of our common security.

I wish every success to all exhibitors, participants and guests of Hemus 2018Defence, Aniterrorism and Security!

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Bulgarian Military News

The Е-3А AWACS System is a Key Component for the Security of the NATO Allies

SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 6, 2018, Source: Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria, Photo: Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria

“It is landmark day today, because at Sofia Airport we welcome one of the aircrafts of the E-3A (AWACS) Component of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force. For us that visit is a demonstration of the Alliance unity, of Bulgaria as a NATO member and as a part of the common system for the Alliance air defence. The AWACS aircrafts work off activities related to reconnaissance and radio-electronic control of the avionics and in the interest of the Air Defence of Bulgaria,” said the Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov on 5th June at Sofia Airport during the static display of the NATO E-3A aircraft, equipped with an airborne warning and control system (AWACS).

“The visit of the E-3A (AWACS) aircraft is a symbol of the unity of the member states and the efforts of Bulgaria to modernize its Air Force after the NATO requirements, as well as an expression of our desire to contribute to the collective defence in the field of the air component as well,” added the Deputy Minister Zaprynov.

“In the complex geopolitical situation, the execution of the tasks of the air forces of the NATO member states requires more collective efforts and enough resources, by having in mind the national priorities and particularities at the same time. The Е-3А aircrafts provide to the Aviation Operation Centre (AOC) exceptionally valuable information about the air situation far beyond the range of our radars, exchange operative information,” said the Air Force Deputy Commander, Brig. Gen. Petyo Mirchev.

The visit of the Е-3А aircraft is organized by the Bulgarian Air Force Command under the initiative of the Allied NATO Air Command – Ramstein, Germany and is an expression of the engagement of the Alliance to the security of the southeastern region of Europe.

The Brig. Gen. Petyo Mirchev said that the necessity of good preparation and interaction between the air forces of the NATO member states is not only an end in itself, but a result from the new realities in the strategic environment. He noted that this year the Bulgarian Air Force will participate in 12 joint exercises and trainings with NATO allies, which impress not only with the bigger number of the participants, but also with the more complicated tasks.

“The Е-3А AWACS system as part of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force is a key component of the measures for guaranteeing the security of the NATO allies. We support the detention and defence activities and give our contribution, as force with high level of readiness, to the leading air components of the NATO Response Force,” said Brig. Gen. Karsten Store, E-3A Component commander from the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force in Geilenkirchen, Germany.

“Our presence today at the international Sofia Airport sends a clear message: Bulgaria is an integral part of the NATO family and we, as allies, are ready to defend ourselves and do not stop being alert,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Karsten Store mentioned that after 2014, as part of the measures for guaranteeing the security of the allies, it has been performed more than 1400 missions and 11000 flying hours within the NATO European air space has been realized.

The static display of the NATO Е-3А (AWACS) aircraft was also seen by the participants in the three-day planning conference of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force, held in Bulgaria.

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Divisions of the Anti-Aircraft Missile Base Train at the Field Training Ground “Koren”

Divisions of the Anti-Aircraft Missile Base Train at the Field Training Ground “Koren”

SOFIA (Bulgaria), May 29, 2018, Source: Bulgarian Air Force, Photo: Bulgarian Air Force

Divisions from the 1st Anti-Aircraft Missile Base start combat training from temporary positions at the field training ground “Koren”. In the course of two weeks, the formations, armed with the surface-to-air missile systems S-125 Neva (SA-3) and Kub (SA-6), will “be at war” with F-15 aircrafts of the USA combat aviation and MiG-29 and L-39 of the Bulgarian Air Force. The warfare is being enacted within the framework of the joint Bulgarian-American flight training “Thracian eagle 2018”.

Initially the S-125 Neva surface-to-air missile system will be situated at the field training ground, and then it will be replaced by the Kub surface-to-air missile system. The surface-to-air systems will work off disguise of strategic sites from the critical infrastructure of Bulgaria. It is planned they to be involved in group air attacks independently and in interaction with aviation groups, formed by the American and Bulgarian aircrafts.

The taking of the surface-to-air systems from the points of permanent dislocation and their positioning at the training ground allows the training to be realized in conditions which are quite close to real warfare. The realistic tactical environment is complemented by the variable atmospheric conditions of the training ground.

Other division of the Anti-Aircraft Missile Base will also take part in the training. They will work off execution of tasks against the aviation from their points of permanent dislocation.

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Welcome Address by Mr. Emil KARANIKOLOV – Minister of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria

Welcome Address by Mr. Emil KARANIKOLOV - Minister of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria

PLOVDIV (Bulgaria), May 30, 2018, Source: Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria, Photo:Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

We are delighted to welcome the opening of the XIII Defence Equipment Exhibition “HEMUS 2018”. The exhibition has more than 20 years of history and has established itself as an authoritative event for presenting the latest products and technological achievements of Bulgarian and foreign companies and scientific organizations working in the interest of defence and security. At the same time, with its comprehensive rich program the exhibition has also evolved as a forum that brings together producers, potential buyers, investors, military and industry experts, and gives the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences in different formats and to discuss current trends in developing the necessary defence and security capabilities.

I would like to point out that this year’s edition of the HEMUS Defence Equipment Exhibition is being held in a context that is particularly relevant for Bulgaria, which is related to the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. This coincidence from our point of view is a remarkable opportunity to present Bulgaria’s industrial and technological defence capabilities, but it is also a good reason to present to a wider and more interested audience the latest EU policies aimed at strengthening the industrial cooperation between EU Member States in the field of defence and security in order to build a competitive European defence technological and industrial base. The efforts of the competent Bulgarian institutions are now concentrated in this direction. The main objective is the adoption of the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Program (EDIDP).

From industry perspective, this is an important and anticipated step and the envisaged incentives provide real prospects for preserving and enhancing the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the industry, serious technological progress and enhanced European industrial and scientific cooperation in the process of developing the desired defence and security capabilities of the EU and NATO.

We look forward to fruitful discussions, new ideas and active participation by the industry on these issues during the events accompanying the exhibition – the Industrial Forum on “Defence and Industrial Cooperation in the European Union – New Opportunities for the European Defence Industry” and the Scientific Conference on “Research, Innovation and industrial cooperation in the interest of the common European defence and security”.

It has been repeatedly noted that the defence industry is important not only as an element of the national security and defence of our country, but also as a sector of the economy, which provides serious revenues and highly qualified jobs. We are pleased with the progress in economic activity, the stable development of defence industry enterprises, and we greatly appreciate the continued commitment to developing production capacities, expanding and refining the range of manufactured products, introducing modern technological and innovative solutions, quality approach and a flexible approach to meeting the individual needs of each individual customer.

The efforts of the government and the industry are united aiming at supporting the development of the Bulgarian defence industry as part of the European defence industrial and technological base, increasing the innovation capacity and the participation in EU and NATO programs and projects and also in the implementation of national projects and the realization of products and services for the national armed forces.

From this point of view, the Ministry of Economy strongly encourages cooperation between Bulgarian and European companies, actively promotes the establishment of long-term industrial cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic area, supporting serious investment intentions in the areas of defence and security and in the modernization of the armed forces. For us, industrial partnership is a vital tool for preserving and developing existing or creating new key capabilities.

The Ministry of Economy is also committed to providing the necessary prerequisites for successful long-term cooperation and development in the defence industry field and therefore we have the priority tasks to improve the business environment, relieve the administrative burden on business and promote investment and innovation in the defence sector and security.

I wish success and fruitful business meetings to each of the exhibitors, successful work at the accompanying events of the international exhibition “HEMUS 2018”!

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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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