14:27 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Two F-16 Fighting Falcons pilots with the 8th Fighter Wing's 80th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea

    Bulgaria's $1.26Bln Deal for 8 US F-16 Jets Comes Into Effect - Reports

    © CC BY 2.0 / Capt. Shannon Collins / 100427-F-6393C-080
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The contract for Bulgaria's $1.26 billion deal to purchase eight new F-16 fighter jets and supporting equipment went into effect on Tuesday following its publication in the Bulgarian State Gazette.

    The fact that the deal has been promulgated is significant because Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, who last week vetoed the purchase, saying the lack of consensus on the deal was "worrying," no longer can amend the national budget, into which the purchase has already been included.

    The national parliament overturned the presidential veto on Friday.

    A Rampage supersonic stand-off air-to-surface missile being launched from an F-16 multirole combat aircraft
    © Photo : Israel Aerospace Industries/Israel Military Industries
    A Rampage supersonic stand-off air-to-surface missile being launched from an F-16 multirole combat aircraft

    The F-16 deal is Bulgaria's biggest military purchase since the fall of communism three decades ago. According to the Bulgarian National Radio, the first F-16 will arrive by mid-2023, followed by four more by the end of that year. The rest will arrive in 2024.

    Tags:
    United States, Bulgaria, US F-16
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