site.btaPresident Radev: Bulgaria Needs Intermediate Solution Before Delivery of American F-16 Fighter Jets, To Seek Second-hand Aircraft
Bulgaria needs intermediate fighter jets until the country receives the F-16 Block 70 fighters from the US, in order not to interrupt the duty of guarding its airspace, President Rumen Radev told journalists Thursday in Prague, answering a question whether the caretaker government had asked Sweden to buy 10 Gripen aircraft. Radev is in Prague for the first meeting of the European Political Community.
Radev recalled that in March, 2022, during a NATO summit, he had said that Bulgaria needed intermediate fighter jets, and the project was launched even then. He stressed that it is notjust a dialogue, but a search for a solution, because Bulgaria cannot afford to give up guarding its own sky until the arrival of the US F-16 aircraft. Radev assured that the contract with Washington for the purchase of 8 plus 8 F-16 aircraft is being implemented.
According to Radev, Bulgaria is looking for the best solution in terms of capability and cost. He said that letters have been sent, meetings are being held, and initial information is being received from the US, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Israel, adding that the second-hand aircraft are being sought not from companies but from the defence ministries of these countries.