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Dec 20, 2017 14:19 EEST
December 20 (SeeNews) - The procedure for awarding a contract for the maintenance of 15 ageing Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets of the Bulgarian Air Force was halted over a complaint by a Ukrainian company, Bulgarian public radio broadcaster BNR reported on Wednesday.
The estimated cost of the project for keeping the MiG-29 jets airworthy is 81.3 million levs ($49 million/ 41.5 million euro).
Ukrainian company Ukrinmash has submitted a complaint to the Bulgarian competition authority, BNR quoted Bulgarian defence minister Krassimir Karakachanov as saying on Wednesday. He did not elaborate.
In December, the defence ministry invited the manufacturer of the jets, Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, to sign a framework agreement for their maintenance. The project calls for integrated logistics support of 12 MiG-29A jets and and three trainers MiG-29 UB, for a period of four years supporting a total of 1,450 flight hours per year, according to a notice published on the website of the Public Procurement Agency.
The ministry added that the Russian manufacturer of the MiG-29s and the sole owner of the licences for their maintenance.
Bulgaria's government said last week it approved the allocation of up to 19.9 million levs ($12 million/4.9 million euro) from the defence ministry budget to a project aimed to ensure the airworthiness of the MiG-29 fighter jets. The implementation of the project will create the necessary conditions for the 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. This is the second tranche of budget funding for the project which totals 30.5 million levs.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)
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