Bulgarian Chief of Defence Admiral Emil Eftimov speaking today (May 11, 2022) with media notified that the Balkan state is seeking to buy one or two used submarines from Italy, adding that the talks for the same are likely to commence.
He stated, “The talks over the matter are likely to start with Italy on the parameters of a likely purchase”.
Meanwhile, earlier, Admiral Eftimov, during an interview, cited that Defence Minister Dragomir Zakov had designated a distinct working group which will be holding talks with Italy officials over the purchase.
Apart from this, the Bulgarian Chief of Defence confirmed that the initial batch of the F-16 jet fighters will be arriving in the country by 2025. Fighter jets have been purchased from the United States of America.
The delivery of jets was likely to arrive in 2023, but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been delayed to 2025, as per the administration of the United States.
“The Bulgarian officials are considering several strategies for maintaining Bulgaria’s MiG-29 and what this country would do if it needs to do Air Policing independently, that is, without any assistance by allied nations. I am positive that we will find a solution”, the Chief of Defence stated.
For the present time, the aircraft from the Netherlands are on an Air Policing mission in Bulgaria, which will continue till the end of May month.
The official Twitter handle of NATO Air Command tweeted, “Netherlands F-35s are currently accomplishing the NATO Air Policing mission with the Bulgarian Air Force. The F-35 fighters are deployed to Bulgaria in order to integrate with the Alliance’s enhanced Vigilance Activities in the airspace of its Eastern Allies”.
Admiral Eftimov then added that the talks are currently being organised with other NATO countries to discuss joint protection of the Bulgarian air space.