Bulgaria’s Parliament voted on November 9 to approve a project that envisages the acquisition of combat vehicles, including 183 US-made Stryker armoured vehicles.
The vote was 135 in favour, 55 against, with two absentions, with opposition coming from the pro-Kremlin minority party Vuzrazhdane and the Bulgarian Socialist Party.
The project includes the acquisition of combat and auxiliary vehicles, communication and information equipment.
The vehicles will cost about 2.2 billion leva, while a further 300 million leva will be needed for ammunition.
Payment will be in instalments, beginning in 2023 and ending in 2027, including sums of 600 million leva each in 2024 and 2025.
The first deliveries are expected in the first quarter of 2025 and the final deliveries are to be in the first quarter of 2028.
Defence Minister Todor Tagarev told the National Assembly that the acquisition was a serious step towards the modernisation of the Bulgarian army.
Tagarev said that the project was the result of the work of many ministers and officials at the Ministry of Defence over the years.
He said that the Terem arms plant would create a special centre for maintaining the vehicles, and it was envisaged that there would be a regional centre for the maintenance of the Strykers, not just for Bulgaria, but for all of Europe.
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