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Bulgarian Air Force pilots boycott Russian MiG-29s
12:38, 25 October 2017
Bulgarian Air Force pilots boycott Russian MiG-29s

The country’s defense ministry claims intentions to restore Soviet-era aircraft, made in Bulgaria; the Parliament offers to buy U.S. and EU fighters instead

12:38, 25 October 2017

Open source

Some of the Bulgarian military pilots refuse to perform flights using Russian MiG-29 fighters; they report safety issues in the obsolete aircraft. Atanas Zapryanov, the country’s deputy defense minister said this as quoted by Radio Liberty.

The defense ministry accused the boycotting pilots of conducting a motivated campaign. He insisted that Bulgaria will be restoring all domestically-made MiG-29s and Russian-made Su-25s (Soviet-era ground attack aircraft, - 112 International).  

Related: NATO fighter intercepts Russian aircraft over Black Sea

Bulgaria joined NATO back in 2004; most of its aircraft, however, is Russian-made. Currently, Bulgarian Air Force employs seven combat-ready Mig-29s. Previously, Bulgaria announced the 770 million Euro-large tender. The opinions in the authority divided; Boiko Borisov’s conservative government opposes the Parliament, President Rumen Radev, and local socialists. As the Cabinet offered to buy JAS Gripen fighters from Sweden, the Parliament vetoed this decision and supported the idea to purchase F-16s from Portugal and Eurofighter Typhoons.  

Related: Russian aircraft struck the first blow to the terrorists from the airfield in Iran

Related: WSJ: Russian Air Force lands air strike on U.S. secret base in Syria

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