Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry received four offers in reply to its request for proposals to supply fighter jets to the Bulgarian Air Force, the deadline for which was October 1.
Two offers came from the United States, for new F-16s and new F-18s, while Sweden once again put forward its offer for new Gripen jets. Italy’s offer was for used Eurofighters.
Two separate committees will have to evaluate the proposals, Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov said at the opening of the bids, but gave no clear indication on a time frame for when a winner could be announced.
“The first committee will have two weeks to finish its work [on evaluations], after which there will be another committee that will have to do its work, and after that the Defence Minister [Krassimir Karakachanov] will have to make the final proposal from these two interdepartmental working groups,” Zapryanov said, as quoted by Bulgarian National Radio.
“Our desire is to do it fast. I do not know the contents of the offers, but the committee examining them will have the right to make inquiries with the respective countries,” he said.
Bulgaria invited bids from seven countries in July after Parliament approved, a month earlier, a 3.5 billion leva military modernisation project, which included 1.8 billion leva for the fighter jets, to be acquired in two stages of eight each.
Portugal and Israel, which were asked to submit proposals for F-16 jets, Germany (Eurofighter) and France (Rafale) did not submit offers.