Details of the Bulgarian purchase of eight Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 70 have come to light following a US Defense Security Cooperation Agency Foreign Military Sales news release.
With an estimated cost of $1.673 billion the sale also includes a reasonable number of munitions to allow for the aircraft to be combat effective, especially considering that they only operate outdated Russian aircraft and weapons currently.
Whilst this release by no means shows that the F-16 has won the contract it is believed that the Bulgarian government prefers the aircraft over Saab Gripens or used Italian Eurofighter Typhoons. With plans for an eventual purchase of 16 aircraft to completely replace their aging MiG-29 fleet it is as yet unclear whether or not the huge price tag for just eight aircraft can be justified by the Bulgarian Air Force.
Nick Ashwell-Rice has worked in aviation and defence journalism since 2014 whilst also maintaining a career outside of the industry. He has been Editor-in-Chief at Talking Aero since its inception