April 15, 2016, Friday
The Bulgarian defence ministry informed on Friday that it has launched a public tender for the supply of ten engines for MiG-29 fighter jets.
The engines can be either new or repaired ones and are needed to extend the operational capacity of five fighter jets, daily Sega informs.
The ministry notes that less engines might be purchased if there is not enough funding for all ten of them. The supplier offering the most favourable economic conditions will be selected.
The initial expectations projected that between BGN 50 and BGN 60 M will be paid for the engines, but the documentation reveals that the maximum amount to be spent has been capped at BGN 30 M.
One of the requirements towards the participants is to be able to supply the engines within a year after the launch of the tender and to guarantee that the engines will be fit for use for at least six years.
Last year, Bulgaria concluded an intergovernmental agreement with Poland on the repair of six MiG-29 engines for nearly BGN 12 M.
Two of the engines were fitted by specialists at the Graf Ignatievo air base. At the beginning of the year, Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev announced that the Bulgarian air force can rely on seven operational fighter jets.
When the idea for the purchase of new engines was brought up in the beginning of the year, Nenchev noted that Bulgaria will go for Russian-made ones, but these will not be supplied by Russia.
Offers are expected to come from member states of the EU and NATO which have such spare parts in stock.
Recently, the government approved the acquisition of sixteen new or repaired military aircraft of a new type.
Even if the tender on the acquisition of the new fighter jets is launched by the end of the year, these will come into service in 2020.
Until then, the country’s air space will be policed by the MiG-29s which is the reason for the extension of their flying capacity.