Bulgaria asks US for help guarding its air space

In Washington DC earlier this week, Defence Minister Dragomir Zakov held talks with the Pentagon on the possibility of US fighter jets assisting in guarding Bulgaria’s air space, Bulgarian National Radio reported Zakov as saying on May 12.

Bulgaria has a scant number of serviceable Soviet-era MiG-29s and has paid for eight new US-made F-16 fighter jets, but production delays – mainly related to the Covid-19 crisis – mean that the delivery date of the first F-16s has been pushed back from 2023 to 2025.

A succession of modern fighter jets from Nato allies are assisting in guarding Bulgaria’s skies.

Zakov said that there were discussions about how many US aircraft could be deployed in Bulgaria and from where they would be deployed.

Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, speaking at the start of a Cabinet meeting on May 12, said that during this week’s visit to the US, “great progress” had been made in finding replacement F-16 fighter jets as an alternative option to the delayed delivery.

“We have support for the Bulgarian sky to remain protected,” Petkov said.

(Photo: US Air Force)

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