Former Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy has said the country should consider buying two US-made F-35 fighter jets as talks on the purchase of F-16s are ongoing.
"It's high time, we started to think of when we would begin to reinforce our military with next-generation aircraft - F-35", the ex-minister said last week, adding that the aircraft's main advantage is its ability to avoid detection by radar systems.
On 3 June, the US approved the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Bulgaria. The indicated price is about $1.7 billion (over 2.9 billion leva). Bulgarian Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov explained that this figure is the ceiling price, and in practise, the cost will be lower.
The minister also noted that Bulgaria would insist on paying the total sum piece by piece so not to impede the financing of other military deals and projects.
However, an expert from the specialised journal "AERO", Krassimir Grozev, in a commentary for Bulgarian National Radio, expressed doubt that at such a cost Bulgaria would be able to buy the necessary equipment indicated in the US notice.