site.btaParliamentary Defence Committee Backs Project for Acquisition of 198 Combat and Service Vehicles Worth USD 1.4 Bln
Bulgaria's parliamentary Defence Committee on Wednesday voted, 14-4, to approve an investment expenditure project for the acquisition of 198 combat and service vehicles needed for the formation of mechanized-battalion-size battlegroups.
The estimated project implementation cost is USD 1.376 billion (equivalent to USD 2,504,320,000) before VAT. Payment under the draft contract and the two future contracts for procurement of ammunition is to be effected over five years, and the first installment should be remitted in 2023.
Under the law, defence-related procurement projects of a value exceeding BGN 100 million need to be approved by the National Assembly at a plenary sitting.
Of the 198 vehicles, 183 are Stryker combat vehicles and related equipment whose possible sale to Bulgaria was approved by the US State Department in early September. The principal contractor will be General Dynamics Land Systems of Anniston, Alabama.
The vehicles are to be delivered between the third quarter of 2025 and the first quarter of 2028. The bulk of the equipment will arrive in 2026 and 2027, at a rate of ten vehicles per month.
All vehicles will come complete with communication and information equipment meeting the Defence Ministry's requirements for interoperability and technical compatibility with the materiel that us currently used in the Bulgarian Land Forces.
The project also covers Land Forces personnel training in handling and maintenance of vehicles and systems of all types, supply of teaching aids and simulators, supply of an initial set of spare parts and consumables, initial logistical support to assist the mastering of the operation and maintenance of the vehicles, and field machine-shop trucks for repair or recovery of combat damage.
The requisite quantities or artillery and small-arms ammunition and anti-tank guided missiles will be acquired for the purposes of mechanized brigade personnel training and combat action. The acquisition of the ammunition is subject to additional contracts under the US Foreign Military Sales program which the Defence Ministry expects to receive at the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.
The Defence Ministry has identified a shortage of funds for the implementation of the project, a post-start delay in the implementation of the project owing to its size, and an abrupt change in the vision and priorities for the development of the Armed Forces as possible risks to the implementation of the project.