The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) respects the decision of the Bulgarian Parliament on the process of acquiring a new type of combat aircraft, but remains convinced that the Swedish offer brings more benefits to Bulgaria, Joakim Wallin, head of export and international operations at FMV, said on January 17.
The statement was issued after Bulgaria’s National Assembly voted a mandate to the government to negotiate with the United States about the acquisition of F-16s.
The US offer was chosen by the Bulgarian government on the recommendation of a political-military committee, over the Swedish offer of Gripens and Italy’s offer of second-hand Eurofighters.
“We believe that Gripen is the best option for Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Air Force,” Wallin said.
Gripen is the state-of-the-art fighter jet today, which had proven itself in Nato joint missions.
“Gripen is manufactured in Europe, fully compatible with Nato and has low costs throughout its lifespan,” Wallin said.
Moreover, the Swedish offer is for a fully compatible package of 10 fighters, he said.
Together with the necessary armaments and equipment, the offer is under the budget of 767 million euro, originally approved by the Bulgarian Parliament, the statement said.
Wallin said that according to the report of the expert group at Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry, Gripen was the platform with the best operational capabilities.
“Partnership with Sweden would bring benefits to Bulgarian society as a result of deepening co-operation between the two countries. We continue to monitor the process and remain available for further talks in case Bulgaria would like to have such talks,” Wallin said.
(Photo, of the JAS 39 Gripen: Pia Ericson/FMV)