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SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 25 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's government said on Wednesday it approved an expenditure of up to 9.6 million levs ($5.3 million/4.9 million euro) under the defence ministry budget to ensure the airworthiness of ageing Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets of the country's Air Force.
In order to secure the implementation of the project during its 2016-2017 timeframe, a total of 30.5 million levs are provided for in the central government budget, the government said in a statement following a weekly meeting.
The implementation of the project will create the necessary conditions for the Bulgarian Air Force to maintain and develop capabilities for air policing, as well as to implement NATO’s collective defence mechanisms and EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, the government said.
Last year, the government approved the spending of 70 million levs under the defence ministry's 2016 budget for the overhaul of MiG-29 fighter aircraft. The funds were provided for in the 2016 central government budget.
Also last year, the defence ministry awarded a 42.7 million levs contract to Sofia-based Aviostart for the supply of 10 engines for the MiG-29 jets.
In March, the government approved a 2.4 billion levs plan to enhance Bulgaria's defence capabilities by extending the operational lifespan of at least 10 MiG-29s, acquiring new combat aircraft and purchasing two new multi-purpose patrol ships.
(1 euro=1.95583 levs)