Bulgarian gov’t proposes purchase of 8 U.S. F-16 fighter jets

The Bulgarian government on Monday decided to propose the National Assembly to ratify the contracts on the acquisition of eight new F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft worth nearly 1.26 billion U.S. dollars.

The four contracts were signed on Thursday by the Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov, and cover the purchase of the aircraft and associated support, munitions, Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II air-to-air missiles, and Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System.

Last year, Bulgarian Defense Ministry sent requests for proposal to seven countries, and eventually preferred the F-16s to other bidders, which included Sweden with Gripen jets and Italy with second-hand Eurofighters.

Bulgaria, a NATO member since 2004, still heavily relies on Soviet-made weapons.