Bulgarian lawmakers seal deal to buy 8 new F-16s from US

Business

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria’s parliament has approved the purchase of eight new American fighter jets as part of a plan to replace the Balkan country’s aging Soviet-built jets and to bring its air force in line with NATO standards.

Lawmakers voted 123-78 on Friday in favor of a government motion to buy the eight F-16 Block 70 aircraft, which will be the biggest military procurement in post-Communist Bulgaria. Two legislators abstained from the vote.

The $1.25 billion deal includes the jets, ammunition, equipment and pilot training. The six single-seat and two two-seat F-16s would be delivered by 2023.

The defense minister will sign the contract with producer Lockheed Martin.

Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union three years later.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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