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Washington Okays Sale of Eight F-16 Fighters to Bulgaria

The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Bulgaria of eight F-16 C/D Block 70 Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of 1.673 billion US dollars, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a press release on Monday. The DSCA delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 4.
The Government of Bulgaria has requested to buy four F-16 C Block 70 aircraft and four F-16 D Block 70 aircraft, plus associated munitions and equipment. “The proposed sale will improve Bulgaria’s capability to meet current and future threats by enabling the Bulgarian Air Force to deploy modern fighter aircraft routinely in the Black Sea region,” the press release said. “The acquisition of these aircraft would provide Bulgaria a NATO interoperable platform and allow the Bulgarian Air Force to operate more frequently alongside other regional F-16 operators, promoting common doctrine and operations. Bulgaria has shown a commitment to modernizing its armed forces and will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft and services into its armed forces.”
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region, the DSCA added. It named Lockheed Martin, Greenville, South Carolina, as the principal contractor.
This is the second batch of such fighters that Bulgaria is acquiring, after eight multi-role F-16 Block 70 aircraft and associated support, munitions, Sidewinder AIM 9X Block II Missiles and associated material and services were contracted on July 11, 2019 at a price of 1.2 billion US dollars. The first two jets were to be delivered in the middle of 2023 and the last two in the first quarter of 2024, but the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the implementation of the project until the first quarter of 2025.