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Delivery of F-16 jets to Bulgaria to be delayed by two years - PM

Delivery of F-16 jets to Bulgaria to be delayed by two years - PM Photo: Lockheed Martin / All rights reserved.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), February 14 (SeeNews) - The delivery of F-16 fighter jets from the U.S. to Bulgaria is expected to be delayed by at least two years, prime minister Kiril Petkov said.

The first F-16 fighter jets are expected to arrive in Bulgaria no earlier than 2025, Petkov said in a video file published on the website of Nova TV on Saturday.

"The F-16 programme is experiencing delays due to supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These unfortunate delays will affect all countries currently participating in the programme," the U.S. embassy to Bulgaria said in a statement published on its Facebook profile on Saturday.

In 2019, Bulgaria agreed and paid in full for the $1.2 billion (1.1 billion euro) purchase of eight F-16 Block 70 fighter jets from the U.S. The deal envisages the delivery of six single-seat F-16 jets and two two-seat aircraft to be used for training, as well as supply of weapons for the aircraft.

In 2020, the U.S. defence department said that the production of all eight F16s is expected to be completed by January 31, 2027.

($ = 0.8847 euro)

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