The U.S. State Department approved a possible sale of F-16C/D Block 70/72 aircraft with support to Bulgaria under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program for an estimated cost of $1.673 billion.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on May 30, 2019.
The Government of Bulgaria has requested to buy eight (8) F-16 C/D Block 70/72 aircraft; ten (10) F110 General Electric engines (includes 2 spares); ten (10) Link-16 Multi-Functional Information Distribution System (MIDS) – JTRS (MIDS-JTRS) (includes 2 spares); nine (9) Improved Program Display Generators (iPDG) (includes 1 spare); nine (9) AN/APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radars (includes 1 spare); four (4) AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER Targeting Pods; nine (9) Modular Mission Computers (MMC) 7000AH (includes 1 spare); nine (9) LN-260 Embedded GPS/INS (EGI); nine (9) M61 Vulcan 20mm Cannons; sixteen (16) AIM-120C7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs); one AIM-120C7 Spare Guidance Section; twenty-four (24) AIM-9X Sidewinder Missiles; eight (8) AIM-9X Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); four (4) AIM-9X Spare Tactical Guidance Sections; four (4) AIM-9X Spare CATM Guidance Sections; forty-eight (48) LAU-129 Multi-Purpose Launchers; fifteen (15) GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II Kits; fifteen (15) GBU-54 Laser JDAM Kits; twenty-eight (28) GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB-1); twenty-four (24) FMU-152 Fuzes; twenty-four (24) MK-82 Bombs (Tritonal); six (6) MK82 Bombs (Inert); and thirteen (13) MAU-210 Enhanced Computer Control Group (ECCG).
Also included are nine (9) AN/ALQ-211 Internal Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites (including 1 spare); nine (9) AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispensers (including 1 spare); 4,140 Infrared Flare countermeasures, with impulse cartridges; 8,250 each of PGU-27A/B 20mm training and combat munitions; thirty-six (36) MK-124 Signal/Smoke Illumination devices; nine (9) APX-126 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) units with Secure Communications and Cryptographic Appliques; eighteen (18) AN/ARC-238 UHF/VHF SATURN Radios; sixteen (16) AIM-120C AMRAAM training CATMs; Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) with software, training and support; twenty (20) Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) II with Night Vision Goggle compatibility; ten (10) Night Vision Devices; two (2) Remote Operated Video Enhanced Receiver (ROVER) 6i units, plus 1 ground station; ground training device (flight and maintenance simulator); one (1) Avionics I-level Test Station; Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program (ECISAP) support; Cartridge Actuated and Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD) support; Common Munitions Bit-test Reprogramming Equipment (CMBRE) support with Computer Test Set Adapter Group; communications equipment; software delivery and support; facilities and construction support; spares and repair/replace parts; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation; containers; munition support and test equipment; aircraft and munition integration and test support; studies and surveys; U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $1.673 billion.
The DSCA said in a statement that this proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve security of a NATO ally and a key democratic partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in this region.
The proposed sale will contribute to Bulgaria’s capability to provide for the defense of its airspace, regional security, and interoperability with the United States and NATO.
These new aircraft will provide Bulgaria with a fleet of modernized multi-role combat aircraft, ensuring that Bulgaria can effectively operate in hazardous areas and enhancing the Bulgarian Air Force’s interoperability with U.S. as well as NATO forces. Bulgaria currently relies on the United States and the United Kingdom to participate in joint air policing. By acquiring these F-16s and the associated sustainment and training package, Bulgaria will be able to provide for the defense of its own airspace and borders.
The prime contractor will be Lockheed Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland.