Bulgaria will receive eight American F-16 fighter jets from the United States in 2025, Defence Chief Admiral Emil Eftimov told Bulgarian National Television on January 16.
Eftimov was among a delegation led by Defence Minister Todor Tagarev that visited the US last week, on a trip that included a visit to the Lockheed Martin factory in Greenville, South Carolina.
“We’ve seen the planes in South Carolina, they’re at various stages of completion. It was a timely decision to pay for the second eight planes,” Eftimov said.
Thirty-two aviators from Bulgaria are being trained in the US in accordance with the methodology used by the US Air Force, he said.
“Eighty-four engineering and technical personnel will undergo training in the US. It is important how we turn this resource into an operational defence capability, we will use the experience of the US Air Force. This is a consistent effort at all levels to plan the tasks and to implement them,” Eftimov said.
During a visit to the Lockheed Martin plant, Tagarev signed the frame of the first fighter that will be completed.
Bulgaria will be the second European country to receive the most modern version of the F-16, the Defence Ministry said.
“Bulgarian society is looking forward to the F-16 Block 70. For us, this is a huge project and a serious effort to increase the capabilities of our armed forces,” Tagarev said.
(Photos: Defence Ministry)
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