Bulgaria has requested information from Portugal about the possible modernisation of nine surplus Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters, a spokesperson for the Portuguese Ministry of National Defence (MND) has told IHS Jane’s .
Bulgaria has long had a requirement to acquire combat aircraft to replace its ageing MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ fighter aircraft. However, financial limitations have so far delayed any aircraft acquisition. IHS Jane’s understands Bulgaria is analysing different options worldwide, with surplus F-16s being one of them.
Neighbouring Romania has already purchased 12 F-16AM/BMs from Portugal, with a spokesperson for the MND stating the country has made a request for Portugal to sell and modernise a further 12 F-16s for its air force.
Any deal for either country would not include F-16s operated by the Portuguese Air Force (FAP). Instead they would be aircraft made available by the United States though its Excess Defense Articles (EDA) programme, or aircraft of allied nations that are replacing the type with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. Any potential deal will see the aircraft modernised by Portugal.
Bulgarian and Polish MiG-29 Fulcrums @theaviationist.com
Bulgarian Air Force
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