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Bulgarian Navy to Receive New Equipment in 2024

By the end of 2024, the Bulgarian Navy will receive new equipment, and some of the systems of the coastal formations will be modernized as well, said here on Friday Flotilla Admiral Georgi Penev, Deputy Commander of the Bulgarian Navy.
On the eve of May 6, the Day of Valour and of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, he showed how far the work on the first multipurpose modular patrol ship has progressed. The completion and equipping with weapons, equipment and auxiliary mechanisms continues. Servicemen have to take a big step forward, so they go through a series of training courses.
Penev pointed out that the upgrading of the Maritime Surveillance System EKRAN is also in progress. The system is implemented together with US partners and it is expected that new elements will be put into operation by the end of 2024. The Navy will also receive remotely controlled devices for underwater and surface use, as well as equipment for the special forces. A project to modernize coastal anti-ship systems is also planned, added Penev, as well as a ship for the needs of the hydrographic service of the US Navy, which should be delivered at the beginning of 2025. 
The acceptance of the new ships will lead to the removal of old equipment from service, Penev said. It will be done in stages, as the ships that are currently performing tasks are still in good condition, their armament is fit for use, the equipment is maintained in order and exercises are being conducted according to plan. Regarding the acquisition of a submarine by the fleet, he commented that at this stage such a project is not included in the investment programme of the Defence Ministry. He noted that it requires a lot of resources, which the state currently cannot afford. The issue remains on the Navy’s agenda because the fleet must have the entire range of capabilities, Penev added.
Captain 2nd rank Nikolai Viktorov, Commander of the new multipurpose ship, indicated that the crew included 76 people. He stressed that there are challenges when learning to operate new equipment, but everyone goes through the training and he is confident that the assigned tasks will be completed with quality and on time.