The National Assembly adopted today, November 4, the project for investment expenditure “Acquisition of a new type of warplane” – stage two.

Minister Dimitar Stoyanov thanked the Members of the National Assembly for their support of the project and stressed that our country must have a full squadron of multi-purpose fighter squadrons. “The first eight F-16 Block 70 fighter jets to come in 2025 are extremely inadequate to carry combat duty on Air Policing. Global trends show that the health that can be maintained is 70%. That means we’ll have six correct planes. Two of them will be constantly on duty and with only 4 aircraft on duty aviators must prepare and fly. That means less than 50 hours per aviator per year. Does anyone think that in less than 50 hours a new warplane can be piloted? That’s why we need to have a full squadron,”” Minister Stoyanov said in response to questions from MPs about why a second investment spending project is needed.

He stressed that under the first contract for F-16 Block 70 fighter jets, there was not enough armament, full combat capacity for all eight aircraft, air-to-ground and high-precision weapons. “The second contract also provides for additional replacement engines, additional radar stations, and additional containers for targeting, and additional armaments,” Minister Stoyanov said.

He stressed that a transit platform is needed without which Bulgaria will not be able to guard its airspace from the end of 2023 until 2029, when F-16 fighter jets are expected to be used.

The project envisages the acquisition of eight more F-16 Block 70 aircraft, as well as air-to-air and air-to-ground armaments, ground handling and personnel training necessary for the operation of 16 F-16 Block 70 aircraft in Bulgaria. The funds will be paid deferred over a period of 10 years. The delivery of the second eight aircraft is scheduled to take place in 2027.

This will allow the performance of a wide range of tasks in a national and collective format. It will provide an opportunity for effective training of flight crews. Airspace security capabilities and the provision of the Air Sovereignty of the Republic of Bulgaria in nato’s Integrated Air And Missile Defense (PTINAMDS) System (PVO) will be increased.