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Parliament ratifies international contracts for purchase of eight F-16s on second reading

Parliament ratifies international contracts for purchase of eight F-16s on second reading

19 July 2019 | 14:07 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Parliament has ratified the international contracts for the purchase of eight F-16 Block 70 aircraft on second reading, Focus News Agency reports.
The proposal for a second reading vote was made by the Chairman of the Defence Committee, GERB member Gen. Konstantin Popov, and it was adopted by the plenary. The four international contracts were signed by the U.S. on 13 June 2019, and by Bulgaria on 11 July 2019. The contracts aggregate the delivery of the whole package totalling USD 1,256,153,980. The law enters into force after its promulgation in the State Gazette.

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Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov: 2 billion for F-16s is a serious fiscal effort, but the good news is we can afford it without breaking our laws or EU rules

Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov: 2 billion for F-16s is a serious fiscal effort, but the good news is we can afford it without breaking our laws or EU rules

19 July 2019 | 11:52 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Two billion for the F-16s is a serious fiscal effort, but the good news is that we can afford it without breaking our laws or EU rules, Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov told reporters in reference to the F-16 deal, Focus News Agency reports.
"Since we are talking about an investment expense, a one-time spending, there is no drama," he said. “If, however, we had adopted some unbalanced and inappropriate increase in spending for welfare or budget staff, we would have a problem,” Minister Goranov said.
"If we are talking EU rules, I will point out that the deferred delivery, i.e. the delivery of the aircraft over time, will turn this cash expense that we will spend at one go into an expense on accrual basis in the years of delivery," Goranov added. In his words, the deficit will not include this BGN 2 billion paid.
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Framework Agreement on purchase of F-16 Block 70 proposed for ratification

Framework Agreement on purchase of F-16 Block 70 proposed for ratification

17 July 2019 | 13:55 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Bulgaria’s government has adopted a decision proposing that the National Assembly ratify the Framework Agreement between the Ministry of Economy and Lockheed Martin Global INC regarding the F-16 block 70 industrial cooperation programme, the government press office said.
It creates the necessary conditions for the implementation of the revised investment project "Acquisition of a new type of combat aircraft", approved by the National Assembly, and the requirement for industrial cooperation in the project implementation.
During the talks, the Ministry of Economy expressed expectations that the balance between the two sides of the contract is maintained – increasing defence capabilities and competitiveness of the industry. Emphasis was placed on the intention to build upon basic capabilities so as to create opportunities for regional cooperation.
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Cabinet proposes contracts for acquisition of F-16s to be ratified by National Assembly

Cabinet proposes contracts for acquisition of F-16s to be ratified by National Assembly

15 July 2019 | 16:36 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Government has adopted a decision today on a proposal to the National Assembly to ratify the international contracts LOA BU-D-SAB, F-16 Block 70 aircraft and associated support, LOA BU-D-AAA, Munitions in support of F-16, LOA BU- P -AAD, Sidewinder AIM 9X Block II Missiles, Associated Material and Services, and LOA BU-P-LAR, "Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) and related support and equipment, said the government press office.
The contracts were signed on 11 July 2019 by the Bulgarian side pursuant to Council of Ministers Decision No. 398 of 10 July 2019. After the ratification act enters into force, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will notify the US of the implementation of the relevant national procedures.
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Government approves budget revision for purchase of F-16s

Government approves budget revision for purchase of F-16s

15 July 2019 | 13:00 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. At an extraordinary meeting today, the government has adopted a bill amending and supplementing the 2019 State Budget Act, the government press office said. The bill was drafted in connection with the acquisition of F-16 fighter jets for the Bulgarian Armed Forces, “which are of paramount importance for the national security and defence of the country, for the implementation of the NATO collective defence mechanisms, and EU’s common security and defence policy”, the press release reads.
Some days ago, the government approved a deal to acquire eight new US F-16 fighter jets for USD 1.25 billion. The Cabinet adopted a report signed by 4 ministers and mandated the defence minister to sign four contracts concerning the purchase of F-16 Block 70 aircraft with additional equipment, ammunition, air-to-air missiles, and a visualisation, monitoring and management system. Six single-seat and two two-seat F-16s would be delivered by 2023. The price also includes ground equipment and personnel training. The payment will be made in one go.
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Minister Vladislav Goranov: The fiscal reserves are at a good level, the expected budget deficit is about 2%, as projected

Minister Vladislav Goranov: The fiscal reserves are at a good level, the expected budget deficit is about 2%, as projected

12 July 2019 | 14:03 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The fiscal reserves are at a good level, Bulgaria can afford to pay the F-16 fighter jets at once, Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov said in an interview with Focus Radio. In his words, the budget deficit after the update will be about 2%, which is as projected and in compliance with the Maastricht criteria.
He said the government wanted to arrange a part payment for the F-16 deal, but since this was the first such deal between the Bulgarian and US governments, it was necessary to pay the full amount. He further said that the money for the purchase is available and it would not affect other spheres. "This is a significant fiscal effort when it is done within a year, but the good economic prospects and the good budget performance allow us to do that at once,” Minister Goranov explained. He said a loan to pay for the purchase would not be used. "One billion in domestic issuance is estimated in the annual state budget law. There is no direct link between the two, they serve to fill the fiscal reserve and to cover maturing payments. Our intention is to continue to implement the debt strategy as voted at the end of last year," Vladislav Goranov said.
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Government gives minister of defence mandate to sign deal for F-16 jets and equipment

Government gives minister of defence mandate to sign deal for F-16 jets and equipment

10 July 2019 | 15:54 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The government has given a mandate to the defence minister to sign a contract for delivery of F-16 jet fighters and the necessary equipment, Deputy Minister of Defence Atanas Zapryanov said at a press briefing after a meeting of the Council of Ministers today, Focus News Agency reports.
Today, the Council of Ministers adopted the report drawn up by the negotiating teams and mandated the minister of defence to sign four contracts: for F-16 Block 70 aircraft with additional equipment, ammunition, air-to-air missiles, and a visualisation, monitoring and surveillance system, Zapryanov explained. In his words, these four documents will satisfy all requirements for the delivery of the F-16 Block 70 with the associated equipment, weapons and training package. The total price of the four packages is USD 1.256 billion, Zapryanov said, adding that a Congressional Notification process is underway that may result in a discount of additional USD 60 million.
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US Embassy in Sofia delivers offer for acquisition of eight F-16 jet fighters

US Embassy in Sofia delivers offer for acquisition of eight F-16 jet fighters

17 June 2019 | 15:56 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Today the U.S. Embassy Sofia Office of Defense Cooperation formally delivered to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence a Letter of Offer and Acceptance encompassing a potential agreement on Bulgarian acquisition of eight F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft, weapons systems, associated long term sustainment and support systems, as well as comprehensive training for pilots and support personnel, according to the official statement posted on the website of the US Embassy in Sofia.
U.S. Embassy Sofia expresses satisfaction with the work of the Bulgarian military and financial expert delegation who ensured that the proposal takes into account the requirements of the Bulgarian Air Force. The United States looks forward to finalising this contract with the Government of Bulgaria in accordance with Bulgarian procedural requirements, the statement reads.

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Bulgarian Defence Minister Karakachanov: The negotiations with US over F-16 fighter jets will continue as the initially proposed price can be reduced

Bulgarian Defence Minister Karakachanov: The negotiations with US over F-16 fighter jets will continue as the initially proposed price can be reduced

7 June 2019 | 15:23 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The negotiations with US over F-16 fighter jets will continue as the initially proposed higher price can be reduced, Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov said during parliamentary scrutiny, Focus News Agency reports.
Karakachanov told the MPs about the modernisation projects of the Bulgarian army. With regard to the acquisition of two ships for the Navy, the minister said the technical proposals have already been opened and an assessment is yet to be done. Karakachanov said he expects that negotiations for a contract will start by the end of the year. "The first ship should be delivered by the end of 2020 and the second one by the end of 2024. The total price is 820 million levs," he said.
With regard to the acquisition of the F-16 fighter jets, the defence minister said the price suggested by US Congress is not the final amount but a ceiling for the US government to conclude a contract with Bulgaria. He said the initial offer was considerably lower than what Congress vote but still higher than what Bulgaria expected, and it was subsequently reduced. "In 14 days, we will receive an offer. And if it does not satisfy us, the talks will continue, we will seek a reasonable and acceptable price," Karakachanov said.






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Minister Krasimir Karakachanov: There is a chance of no deal between US and Bulgaria for F-16 fighter jets but it is no more than 25%

Minister Krasimir Karakachanov: There is a chance of no deal between US and Bulgaria for F-16 fighter jets but it is no more than 25%

6 June 2019 | 15:57 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. There is a chance that no deal will be closed between US and Bulgaria on F-16 fighter jets but it is no more than 25%, Minister of Defense Krasimir Karakachanov told reporters, a Focus News Agency reporter said.
Asked to comment on the discrepancy between the price voted by US Congress and the amount approved by the Bulgarian Parliament, Karakachanov said Congress voted the ceiling it allowed the US government to sell at. "This is not the price on which the contract will be concluded. US Congress gives the maximum at which the government is allowed to sign a contract with Bulgaria," he explained. The minister gave the example of Slovakia, saying that Congress voted USD 2.8 billion for Slovakia, and the Slovak and US governments signed a USD 1.8 billion contract.
Karakachanov said he expects a bid below the initial one received at the end of last year. In his words, the maximum that Bulgaria can afford is BGN 2 billion.
Asked if there is a chance of no deal between the US and Bulgaria, Karakachanov said such chances always exist. If both sides do not find common ground, there is such a chance. But I esitmate it at no more than 25%," he said.
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