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Bulgaria approves second tranche of F-16C/D Block 70 fighter jets

22nd September 2022 - 12:50 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Bulgaria is to acquire a fleet of 16 F-16C/D Block 70 fighter jets to replace ageing Mig-29s. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

Bulgaria is to invest further in Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 70 fighter jets, acquiring eight more aircraft plus related equipment.

Bulgaria has formally approved funding of an additional eight Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 70 fighter jets at a cost of $1.3 billion. 

The new investment, which also includes related weaponry, will lead to a full squadron of 16 aircraft eventually being operated, according to Dimitar Stoyanov, Bulgaria's defence minister. 

He also confirmed in a 21 September statement that deliveries of the second tranche of F-16s are to begin in 2027. Shephard previously reported that first the F-16 deliveries to Bulgaria are set to take place in 2025 with IOC expected in 2026. 

The new jets are to be fitted with 'advanced capabilities' including Northrop Grumman's APG-83 AESA radar, conformal fuel tanks, improved engine performance, an automatic ground collision avoidance system and an extended structural service life of 12,000h, according to Lockheed Martin company literature. 

Approval of the additional aircraft was officially ratified during a Council of Ministers meeting which also saw Bulgaria decide to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine. On that front, 350 medical kits are to be supplied to Kyiv.

The Shephard News Team


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