Calls for proposals to supply the Bulgarian army with a new infantry combat vehicle will be sent out by the end of November 2018, land forces commander Major-General Mihail Popov said.
Popov said that expectations were that the process of evaluating the bids and awarding a contract would be completed by May 2019.
The armoured vehicle acquisition project envisages getting 150 vehicles for three infantry battalion groups, as well as systems, additional equipment and training. The estimated cost is 1.464 billion leva with VAT. It was approved by Bulgaria’s Parliament on June 8.
Popov said that in addition to the major military modernisation projects that attract the most attention, a further 12 projects were being developed this year.
These include projects to supply equipment to the engineering and artillery corps, for the provision of night vision devices, unmanned aircraft, radar equipment, among others, he said.
It was expected that the projects would be implemented in the next five to seven years as part of the national plan to increase Bulgaria’s defence spending to two per cent of GDP by 2024.
Popov said that the main problems faced by Bulgaria’s land forces were maintenance of available equipment and a shortage of military personnel. He expressed confidence that the Defence Ministry’s new recruiting drive would pay off.
(Photo: Bulgarian Defence Ministry)