PANAGYURISHTE, ($1=1.69 Bulgarian Levas) – The Russian propaganda machine continues to fully manipulate the Russian-speaking part of the world, suggesting that Bulgaria is so pleased with the MiGs that it has no plans to switch to another fighter soon. This was announced today by the Russian edition Aviapro, conveniently forgetting the facts.
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Bulgaria has already paid 100% for the purchase of 8 F-16 Block 70/72 4 ++ generation fighters and expects the first two to arrive within the next 18 months. Bulgaria is currently negotiating the purchase of 8 more fighters of the same Lockheed Martin model.
According to the Russian edition, Bulgaria is so pleased with the Russian MiG-29s that although we are members of NATO, we do not intend to replace them with others. This is true only in the part that Bulgaria has Russian fighters. The fact is, however, that in recent years at least three Russian MiG-29 fighters have crashed, all three through no fault of the pilot, but outdated equipment, avionics, and difficult maintenance.
It is also a fact that Russian military marketing is too clear to both the Bulgarian military and the Bulgarian government, as well as to us ordinary people. Russia has a habit of lifting Russian Su fighters at least once or twice a month and entering Bulgarian airspace. This is done only for Bulgaria to raise its MiG-29 and intercept the Russians, as we are obliged to do so. In this way, the Russians depreciate their obsolete 40-year-old Russian machines faster, which forces Bulgaria to seek their assistance for repairs, spare parts, and engine repairs.
The publication claims that Russia has already transferred spare parts for the Bulgarian MiGs, citing Andrei Gerasimchuk, managing director of the RAC MiG. “During the negotiations held in August, the leadership of the Bulgarian Air Force and the MiG Corporation agreed to deliver components for the MiG-29 ahead of schedule. Last week we sent the last batch of aeronautical equipment under existing contracts. The corporation’s early fulfillment of its obligations will significantly increase the combat capability of the Bulgarian Air Force” Gerasimchuk said.
The Russian propaganda media conveniently forget the fact that as members of NATO Bulgaria are obliged to switch to weapons technology according to Western standards. Unlike many other former Soviet countries the size of Bulgaria, or Ukraine, Bulgaria has the money to pay for its new fighters and does not rely on Russian loans to guarantee Moscow any obedience. At least because Bulgaria is not Belarus and has money to cover its expenses.
Aviapro says that Bulgaria confirms further interest in Russian fighters, which is a base and brutal lie of Putin’s propaganda class. The fact is that a Russian company has not been invited to the tenders for the new fighters, and will not be invited in the future.
We remind our Russian colleagues that the last crashed Bulgarian MiG-29 was on June 9 this year, when the lack of a warning system for a possible ground collision in the Russian MiGs killed our pilot. BulgarianMilitary.com conveniently reminded Russian journalists that the new F-16 we are expecting has such an integrated system, a fifth-generation the same one used for the F-35.