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Bulgaria Requests F-16 Block 70/72


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Bulgaria was spending 2% or more on defense 10 years ago. Since then its been 1.5ish with last year apparantly 1.55. But would more money into fighter jets be worth the money? Expensive items like fighter jets really only reach full potential when the system of systems comes with it. Full training, full munitions, meaningful aircraft quantity, long term upgrade gurantee, any supporting air, sea, or ground based radars, etc. Would it be worthwhile for Bulgaria to push back to 2%? I suppose the starting point is as to whether or not ground forces are getting the proper training and equipment.

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Unless you don't mind having an airliner flying into buildings, some kind of fighter is needed. Bulgaria has MiG-29s and those will eventually run out of hours

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Unless you don't mind having an airliner flying into buildings, some kind of fighter is needed. Bulgaria has MiG-29s and those will eventually run out of hours

 

I don't think this is a true concern of Bulgaria. If it is, they will need more than eight fighters to fulfill that kind of need.

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An armed advanced trainer along the lines of a Yak-130 might be ideal for Bulgaria's needs.

 

The Yak-130 is subsonic, so not really useful for air policing.

 

 

The Korean T-50 Golden Hawk seems like a good offer and is more or less NATO standards compatible and supersonic. But only Mach 1.5. So some jets still can run away.

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You would think that they could have gotten a lot better deal on some refurbished/upgraded F-16 Block 40/50 models (assuming that the USAF or someone had excess airframes).

 

Cheaper? Yes, in the short run. Better? No.

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When you have unfriendly neighbours, you need a capability that requires them to think a little before messing you about.

 

Also, you need high performance for the day to day QRA role as already mentioned.

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I realise a support package would be included, but isn't $1.67 Bn a lot of money for eight F-16s?

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