ITALY-SWEDEN-USA COMPETE FOR PROSPECTIVE FIGHTER JET SALE TO BULGARIA




Mustafa AY – TDO – 03.10.2018 On Monday, Bulgarian Ministry of Defence announced that they are going to purchase new generation fighter jets to modernize its aging air forces. For the modernisation programme, USA, Sweden and Italy submitted their bids to sell 4,5 generation aircrafts to Bulgaria, Defence Ministry stated. According to the Bulgarian officials, Swedish Saab Co. made a bid for its 4,5 generation JAS-39 Griped. As well as Swedish Saab Co., Italy made its bid for Eurofighter Typhoon while US Lockheed Martin proposed its modernized 4,5 generation F-16 and F-18 fighter jets, which US Air Forces has been recently retiring from its inventories.

Bulgarian Ministry of Defence has a fair view with regards to that Soviet-era aircrafts like Su-29 Fulcrum and Su-25K in its air forces’ inventory couldn’t meet 21st century’s requirements such as advanced aerial warfare technology. In addition to this, Bulgarian Air Forces has an increasingly decreasing number of active fighter jets in its inventory because some technical issues in those Aged-Soviet fighter jets obligatorily steered Bulgarian officials to apply retirement process for the aircrafts. Thus, Bulgarian Air Forces has been subject to face with some inevitable challenges like having unexperienced pilots owing to low flight hours and inability to fulfil NATO’s ‘one squadron’ condition.