Saab Gripen Jet Get Closer to Sofia in Fighter Competition

saab gripen jet fighter

Saab Gripen Jet Get Closer to Sofia

Saab Gripen Jet Get Closer to Sofia. The Bulgarian government has announced the Saab Gripen C / D as the preferred candidate and be in top list in the country's new fighter jets competition.

Sofia issued a request for proposals for the purchase of eight multi-cylinder fighters at the end of last year, to be delivered in 2020. A further eight of the selected type were hired in 2022 under current plans.

On 26 April, the government announced that a selection committee had reviewed the three bids submitted, received in mid-March. These were for Tranche 1 standard Eurofighter Typhoons from Italy, Lockheed Martin modernized F-16 from the United States and Portugal, and the new generation of Gripen. Bulgaria had requested that the agreement be carried out under a government-to-government agreement.

Defense Minister Stephan Yanev said Gripen's Swedish proposal has been ranked first, followed by the F-16 offer and finally the Typhoon offer, but it does not provide details.

Sources in Sofia indicate that the Swedish offer was preferred because its price of approximately USD 558 million was lower than the offer of F-16, which was valued at around USD 833 million. Gripen's offer also proposed the delivery of the first aircraft within 18 months, backed by a deferred payment scheme to ease the financial burden of Bulgaria's defense budget.

The Sofia requirement includes air-to-air and air-to-surface guns, ground support equipment, training and logistical support.

The Bulgarian Air Force has been pursuing its new fighter program for more than 12 years. The service removed the last of its MiG-21bis fighters from the RAC in December 2015, leaving its air defense to a fleet of 15 MiG-29s. However, less than half of these are still airworthy due to serious problems related to the lack of spare parts and technical services.
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