According to the head of state, the disputes caused by the vote on the deal in parliament last week showed that there was no public agreement on the issue of acquiring new aircraft.
“Binding oneself to commitments (specifically in a long-term) without national agreement and conviction that the terms of the contract are acceptable to both parties is a matter of utmost concern”, Radev said.
Previously, the president consistently expressed the view that the government's desire to achieve an acceptable price will affect aircraft combat performance detrimentally. According to him, the refusal of even a small part of the package can lead to the jet fighter not taking off at all.
“If there is even a small part of this necessary package missing, the aircraft’s capabilities are significantly reduced, and it may not even take off”, the president said last week after voting in parliament.
Earlier, the Bulgarian edition of 'Epicenter' published a photo of the protocol from the May talks between Bulgaria and the United States, in which the Bulgarian side completely abandoned the air-to-surface systems, and reduced the number of pilots that will be trained to operate F-16s. According to the Bulgarian President's Chief Secretary Dimitar Stoyanov, Bulgaria has reduced the weaponry of an outstanding aircraft to the capabilities of early 20th-century air forces.
Last week, the National Assembly of Bulgaria approved the purchase of eight F-16 jet fighters. The cost of the aircraft will be $1.256 billion, and they will be delivered by 2023.