Deals for Bulgaria’s armed forces to acquire 150 armoured infantry vehicles and two naval patrol vessels are unlikely to be concluded before the end of 2019, it emerged at a hearing of Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov by the parliamentary committee on defence on October 3.
Together, the financial framework for the two acquisitions is about 2.5 billion leva.
Bulgaria already has invited bids to supply the armoured infantry vehicles but has extended the deadline for submitting tenders to December.
Karakachanov said that he expected that the contract for the purchase of the armoured infantry vehicles would be concluded in spring 2020.
He said that the terms for payment had been shortened from 12 to eight years. The acquisition of the last vehicle must be completed by the eighth year.
Bidders to supply the naval patrol vessels have been allowed to adjust their bids, he said.
Karakachanov told the committee that Bulgaria would acquire two minesweepers, second hand from the Netherlands.
He said that attempts had been made to secure a second-hand submarine but had not come to fruition.
Bulgaria decommissioned its last, ageing submarine, the Slava, in 2011. In November 2018, it was reported that there were plans to convert the submarine into a museum.