All dilemmas have been resolved – Bulgaria has decided to buy 8 US F-16 warplanes and all necessary equipment for them from the US company “Lockheed Martin”. The value of this acquisition is almost 1.3 trillion dollars, which is the largest Bulgarian military investment since 1989. By purchasing US military aircraft which should be completed by 2023 at the latest, it will be possible for the Bulgarian Air Force to get rid of 12 Russian MIG-29 aircraft on which they have relied up to now. There is no doubt that this move will greatly increase the strength of the Bulgarian Air Force in the Western Balkans and its combat readiness.
With the US “phantoms” Bulgaria will also buy a lot of equipment that includes radars, navigation systems, special computers, cannons, air-to-air missiles of two types, bombs and etc. For now, it is known that 6 new American “phantoms” will be one-seated and 2 two-seated. The Bulgarian Defense Minister Krasimir Karakatchanov has declared that his government expects the US congressmen, who should approve this purchase, minimise the total cost of “phantoms” for about $ 60 million. In other words, Karakachanov said 2 months ago, that there was a possibility that the Bulgarian government would abandon the acquisition of new aircraft from America due to their excessive price and instead decide to buy a “eurofighter typhoon” from Italy or “SAB-JAS-39 grip “. However, this did not happen at the end. Bulgaria’s decision was welcomed by Lockheed Martin.