President Radev Adamant in Favour of Acquisition of New Jet Fighters for Bulgarian Air Force

Bourgas, on the Black Sea, August 21 (BTA) - "The project for the purchase of a new fighter aircraft for the needs of the Bulgarian Air Force can by no means be dropped," Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said here on Monday. His statement was prompted by an opinion expressed by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov that before going ahead with the acquisition of new aircraft, the MiG-29s in the inventory can be repaired and modernized.

"The money invested in MiG-29s will not give us modern capabilities, and until 2030 will be commensurate with the [cost] of procurement of a new aircraft," said Radev, who is a former Commander of the Air Force. "Secondly, we must think of interoperability. After all, Bulgaria is a member of NATO. MiG-29 is not interoperable with our partners. The other important thing is that defence spending must be effective. We must decide what to do about the new aircraft and only then decide how long and in what way we will organize the transition to it by maintaining the MiG-29s," the head of State pointed out.

"For Bulgaria, it is crucial to have a strong navy to guarantee our economic and energy interests," Radev told journalists here on Monday after holding a meeting with commanders and service members of the military units in Bourgas.

In his words, this implies new equipment, a highly trained personnel, good training conditions and motivation. The President explained that the defence budget must be increased but must also be spent reasonably.

"The significance of the Black Sea region is steadily growing, and expanding geopolitical interests intersect here," Radev added.

Source: Bourgas, on the Black Sea