November 28 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's government said on Wednesday it endorsed two projects worth an estimated total of 163.8 million levs ($94.5 million/83.7 million euro) aimed to ensure the airworthiness of the country's ageing Russian-made MiG-29 and Su-25 fighter jets.
The first project envisages the overhaul of 8 MiG-29 jets for up to 81.3 million levs and is directly related to the country's obligations under NATO's Air Policing mission, the government said in a statement following its weekly meeting.
The project will also allow the Bulgarian Air Force to maintain its defence capabilities until it completes the purchase of new fighter jets, the government noted.
Last month, the defence ministry said that the US, Sweden and Italy have responded to Bulgaria's request for proposals. The US offered to supply new F-16 or F-18 jets, Sweden - new Gripen fighters, while Italy offered used Eurofighter aircraft, the ministry said at the time.
The project for ensuring the airworthiness of the country's Su-25 fighter jets has an estimated value of up to 82.5 million levs.
The price of both projects does not include value added tax.
At its meeting the government also approved additional transfers of funds from the 2018 central budget to the defence ministry to finance the two projects.
The government decided to transfer up to 45.7 million levs in relation to the defence ministry's framework agreement with Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG for overhaul of MiG-29 jets.
The government also transferred a further 82.5 million levs for the rehabilitation of Su-25 jets. The defence ministry said in October it has signed a 73.7 million euro contract with Belarus' Aircraft Repair Plant 558, despite the fact that the company's bid was several times over the estimated value of the agreement.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)