Bulgaria’s Cabinet grants Defence Ministry funds for first payment for Stryker combat vehicles

Bulgaria’s Cabinet has approved additional spending in the Defence Ministry’s budget for 2023, opening the way for the payment of a first instalment of $263 million of the $1.2 billion purchase price for 193 US-made Stryker armoured combat vehicles.

The December 6 decision by the Cabinet follows the Bulgaria’s Parliament’s ratification of the contract for the Strykers five days earlier.

Payment of the first installment on the contract for new armoured fighting vehicles must be made before December 15, while the special offer from the US government is valid.

After the first instalment, the remaining instalments will be paid in equal annual sums.

The scheme with a large down payment was requested by Bulgaria, Defense Minister Todor Tagarev told Parliament during the December 1 debate on the ratification.

The contract “Procurement of Stryker combat vehicles” was signed on November 17 2023 by the Director of the Armaments Policy Directorate of the Ministry of Defence on the basis of a Bulgarian Cabinet decision at a meeting on November 1 2023 and a decision by the US side.

The contract provides for the acquisition of 198 combat, reconnaissance and command and staff vehicles, special vehicles for nuclear, chemical and biological reconnaissance, for medical evacuation, for engineering support, transport and evacuation vehicles.

The time frame for production and delivery of the machines is approximately 36 months from the award of the production contract by the US Army.

The start of deliveries is scheduled for the third quarter of 2025, and the final delivery for the first quarter of 2028. The main amount of combat and auxiliary vehicles will be delivered in 2026 and 2027, with a delivery rate of 10 vehicles a month, Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry said.

Opportunities for industrial cooperation, technology transfers and creation of capabilities in TEREM Holding EAD are envisaged, the ministry said.

(Archive photo: US 2nd Cavalry)

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