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F-18, F-16, Gripen and Eurofighter jets offered for purchase by Bulgaria

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F-18, F-16, Gripen and Eurofighter jets offered for purchase by Bulgaria

Photo: BNT/BTA

The Defence Ministry has received offers for F-18, F-16, Gripen and Eurofighter aircraft in a tender to acquire new fighter jets. This was announced Monday when the bids were opened in the order in which they were placed. They were submitted by the US, Italy and Sweden.
The first two offers were by the US for the acquisition of a new F-18 and a new F-16 jets, the third offer was for a new Gripen jet and the fourth offer was for second-hand Eurofighter jets from Italy.
The offers received on Monday were announced by Air Force Commander Major-General Tsanko Stoikov who chairs an interagency working group established on the orders of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.
As of Tuesday, a commission, led by Gen. Tsanko Stoikov, will take two weeks to evaluate the offers. Deputy Minister Zapryanov told the representatives of the three countries that during that time the commission may submit inquiries for more information in connection with the documentation. It will issue a protocol with the evaluation scores.
Next, a political-military expert commission will be appointed to review the scores and the suggestions of the first commission and to negotiate the final parameters of the offers. It will comprise deputy prime ministers from different ministries under the leadership of the Defence Ministry.
Afterwards based on the protocols from the work of the two commissions, the Defence Minister will make a political decision to advise the government with which country to begin negotiations on the preparations of an agreement.
Deputy Defence Minister Zapryanov told journalists that Israel and France did not submit offers for second-hand F-16 and for a new or second-hand Rafale respectively. He said that Bulgaria had invited both Italy and Germany to participate but un the course of the procedure it emerged that the consortium which manufactures the Eurofighter jets had nominated Italy to put an offer.
Zapryanov said that the Ministry was content with the number of the offers it had received and said that there are more offers for new jet fighters.
Asked whether the price of the new jets may exceed the amount voted by the Bulgarian parliament, Zapryanov said that first the offers should be reviewed as the price and the other parameters are unknown.
Zapryanov did not commit to a deadline for the conclusion of an agreement. He said that it is possible to improve the parameters in government-to-government negotiations.
Asked what the Ministry will do if several offers meet the technical requirements, Zapryanov said that all offers will be evaluated and then a political decision will be made.
He also said that the protocols will be classified but the decision will be made public.

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