“We have problems with the maintenance of the MiG-29 fighter jets. We will rely on the MiG-29s until such time as air control duty can be taken over by the F-16s.” This was stated by the Minister of Defense Todor Tagarev during his hearing in the Defense Committee of the National Assembly.

Tagarev said that MiG-29s are maintained with effort, but their engines cannot be maintained like this for much longer.

“We hope to be able to enter into a contract to repair our engines,” he said, adding that this would allow Bulgaria to use its aircraft for a longer period of time.

The Minister of Defense explained that there were two procedures regarding the maintenance of the MiG-29 – one was to buy engines, but not new ones, but ones that met the requirements, and the second procedure was to repair the engines. Tagarev said that the company “TEREM” won the procedure, but withdrew, as this was a decision of the board of the company and was probably made based on a risk assessment.

“There are problems with finding military personnel at all levels,” the minister admitted and added that he would be happy to vote on an increase in the pay of military personnel between the first and second reading of the Budget.