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Bulgarian govt approves deal for purchase of eight F-16 jets from US

Author Mario Tanev
Bulgarian govt approves deal for purchase of eight F-16 jets from US Photo: Lockheed Martin / All rights reserved.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), July 10 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's defence ministry said that the government has approved four draft agreements with the US worth a total of $1.256 billion (1.070 billion euro), for the purchase of eight F-16 Block 70 fighter jets.

The agreements also provide for the delivery of munitions for the jets, Sidewinder AIM 9Х Block II missiles, and a multifunctional information distribution system joint tactical radio system (MIDS JTRS), the ministry said in a statement following the government's weekly meeting..

The US will deliver six single-seat F-16 jets and two two-seat aircraft primarily used for training.

The contracts are due to be signed by the parties to the deal and subsequently ratified by parliament.

The defence ministry said it expects to receive a $60 million price discount from the US subject to approval by the US Congress.

Last month, Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov said that Bulgaria may need to revise its 2019 budget to finance the purchase. 

Last year, Bulgaria's request for proposals for delivery of up to 16 jets to replace the ageing fleet of Russian-made combat aircraft attracted offers from the U.S., Sweden and Italy. The U.S. offered to supply new F-16 or F-18 jets, Saab offered to supply new Gripen C/D fighters, while Italy offered used Eurofighter aircraft.

($ = 0.8913 euro)