Bulgarian deputy defense minister Atanas Zaprianov has announced that they will buy eight F-16 fighter jets to replace the aging fleet of Soviet built MiG-29 jets.
F-16 jets, equipped with air-to-air missiles and visualisation and surveillance systems, will cost Bulgaria $1.26 billion (1.12 billion euros).
The jets, six single-seaters and two with two seats, will be delivered by 2023.
"The purchase of the new aircraft will improve our interoperability with NATO. Bulgarian pilots will no longer feel like they are in NATO's backyard," said air force deputy commander General Petio Mirchev about the purchase.
Bulgaria chose to buy F-16s instead of Italy’s Eurofighters and Sweden’s Gripen.