At a regular meeting on February 27, Bulgaria’s Cabinet approved a report by the Defence Minister on a payment of up to 82.5 million leva for the renovation of the Air Force’s Su-25 aircraft, the government information service said.
In November 2018, the government approved additional costs of up to 82.5 million leva in the Defence Ministry budget to conclude the Su-25 airworthiness restoration contract.
The statement said that the project would restore the airworthiness of the Su-25s and the maintenance of defence capabilities while the acquisition of a new type of fighter aircraft was pending.
The Sukhoi Su-25 made its first flight in 1975 and went into production in 1978. It was designed for close air support for ground forces. More than 1000 have been produced. The Bulgarian Air Force is said to have 12.
Bulgaria is currently spending millions keeping its ageing Soviet-made military aircraft in service. The country’s government and Parliament have approved the conducting of negotiations with the US on the acquisition of F-16 fighter jets, part of a military modernisation project to meet Bulgaria’s commitments to Nato, of which it has been a member since 2004.
(A Bulgarian Air Force Su-25 ‘Frogfoot’. Photo: Krassimir Grozev)