06:26 GMT16 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Bulgarian Defence Ministry has transferred $1.2 billion to the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DCSA) under government procurement contracts to purchase eight F-16 Block 70 aircraft as well as related equipment, Bulgarian media reported, citing the Defence Ministry.

    The transfer was made on 8 August, the Sofia Globe media outlet reported.

    "With this step, the Bulgarian side has fulfilled its commitment under the contracts concluded under the project for the acquisition of a new type of combat aircraft for the Bulgarian Air Force", the ministry was quoted as saying by the media outlet.

    The Bulgarian National Assembly, the unicameral parliament, ratified four Bulgarian-US contracts on the acquisition of the F-16 planes in late July.

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    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.


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