Bulgaria To Spend $2 Billion On 16 F-16 Jets. This Sum Can Be Spent To Buy Dozens Of Su-35 From Russia

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Bulgaria To Spend $2 Billion On 16 F-16 Jets. This Sum Can Be Spent To Buy Dozens Of Su-35 From Russia

Illustrative image: Pixabay

Bulgaria will potentially spend more than $2 billion to purchase 16 F-16’s due to fears of showing good relations with Russia. For example, the same amount could allow it to buy dozens of Sukhoi Su-35 jets.

On September 18th, Lockheed Martin made a presentation of the F-16 Block 72 fighter, known as Viper in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The event was organized by the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, the chairman of which is Dr. Solomon Passy and with the assistance of Mrs. Kalinka Kovacheva, who is a representative of Lockheed Martin for Bulgaria and Macedonia.

The senior manager at the U.S. company James Robins announced that the company is ready to offer to the Bulgarian Government systems, simulators and service till the end of their life cycle. We shall remind that the F-16 Block 72 fighter in question is fourth generation with renovated radar and information systems operating in real time, systems protecting the aircraft against crash on the land, systems following the life cycle of the pilot and saving him/her in case of loss of consciousness, as well as systems with big range of operation and accuracy of the firearms. The aircraft of 5th generation – F-22 and F-35 – are equipped with the same system integrations, which turn the F-16 Block 72 into an aircraft of 4+ generation.

As of the presentation, no aircraft have been manufactured of the latest version, but the US government has supposedly managed to sign numerous contracts for delivery of the F-16 Block 72. BulgarianMilitary.com reported that the government of Bahrain has ordered 16 of the fighter jets.

Based on the deal between the USA and Bahrain the Government of Bahrain will pay US$ 145.5 million per an aircraft. It has not only ordered 16 jets, but also an additional upgrade of the available 20 F-16s of the Royal Air Force of Bahrain.

“Realistically Bulgaria will not be able to produce parts for the Bulgarian fighters, but we are looking for ways for cooperation and will offer them. We do this all over the world,” said Randy Howard, the director of Business Development for the. F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group.

BulgarianMilitary.com learned that the U.S. company has invested significant financial resources in the building of a brand-new factory for the production of the F-16 of new generation in question in South Carolina, the USA.

Bulgaria issued a request for proposal for fighter jets in July 2018. It is currently expecting the following offers for 16 new or used fighter jets.

  • From the USA it will expect brand new F-16 Block 60 or Block 70 and F/A–18E/F Super Hornet, as well as bids for the used versions, but with their equivalent modifications;
  • From Portugal it will expect a bid for used F-16 MLU OFP М6 (Third Party Transfer)
  • From Israel it will expect bids for used F-16 C/D (Third Party Transfer) upgraded to the version OFP М6 (or such with equivalent capabilities)
  • From Italy it will expect bids for used Eurofighter Tranche 1
  • From Germany it will expect bids for brand new Eurofighter Tranche 3
  • From France it will expect bids for brand new and used Dassault Rafale
  • From Sweden it will expect bids for Gripen C/D and for used Gripen C/D upgraded to the current configuration in the NATO member states (Hungary and the Czech Republic).

In accordance with the NATO membership of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Air Force shall be compatible with and adapted to operate with the air forces of the North Atlantic Alliance and for that purpose Bulgaria has prepared Terms of Reference for the purchase of new combat aircrafts. Moreover, the available equipment is from the period of the Soviet Union and Bulgaria has at its disposal MiG-29 fighters, which must have been grounded and decommissioned.

It is noteworthy to mention that on October 4th, Zora, a Bulgarian newspaper, reported that the Russian Ministry of Defense had signed a contract with Sukhoi for 50 new Su-35s for a price of $17 million per jet. According to the outlet, for 1.8 billion BGN ($1 billion) the Bulgarian government could purchase 60 Sukhoi Su-35, instead of 8 F-16s from Lockheed Martin. However the worries that Bulgaria might anger its NATO allies makes it impossible for the country to purchase any Russian military hardware.

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  • as

    Lol. Good luck buying their accessories to make them up to parity with other europe NATO that have superior eurofighters.

    • You want achieve SU 35 parity with Eurofighters ? Ok, so dismantle thrust vectoring, put away modern AESA radar and give it some 15 years old PESA instead, add 2000 kg ballast weight, disable all IR sensors and every electronic jamming/ countermeasures systems and you will be probably on pair with 1970 design known as Typhoon. Which is double inferior to SU35.

      • John Mason

        Very good Zo Fu!

      • as

        What they’re buying is redundant even within their alliances and very well damn expensive and the US would always have string on it.
        I never say it will do better against Su35. Not a chances with their current capability not with it’s current assortment.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          maybe is better to stop while ahead? Obviously you have not much of an idea what you talking about and is ok.

      • Jonas

        Well, the Su-35 is just a modern version of Su-27, so can I say it’s a 70s design?

        Truth is aerodynamic design hasn’t improved significantly for decades, what matters is what you put inside the airframe, like engines, weapons, radars, computers etc.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          Why something it works excellent, to be messed with, as is the air frame? Unless of course is a plan to send them in outer space then some new design should be born.

        • John Whitehot

          you can tell the same thing about F-15, F-16 and F-18 – with the difference that the Flanker airframe is aerodynamically superior, has a flight envelope almost doubling those of the teen fighters, and has the ability to remain operational in the air for hours without any air-refueling.

          all the above are reasons to keep the airframe (though it has been remade with modern materials and construction methods, making it much lighter) and update it with the latest sensors and weapons.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      eurofigters are not good planes learn what you speaking about before posting.

      Germany has a ‘massive problem’ that has reportedly knocked almost all of its Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets out of commission. They even attempted to give them to Greece for free, good thing the traitors there say no.

      https://www.businessinsider.com/german-military-fighters-jets-not-ready-for-combat-2018-5

      • John Whitehot

        that’s what happen when you elect eastern-german demo”christians” as chancellors – they are people who genuinely believes the honesty of the USA and aren’t worry to entrust them with the security of their homeland.

        Which, in case of war, the US would have happily erased from earth with hundreds of tactical nuclear warheads.

      • as

        Typhoon, Rafale, and Gripen each have better performance and newer airframe characteristics. Gripen were even built to be sustainable by it’s operators with modular built.
        The only reason i think it had value because soon national armies would dump them in dozens and there would be many more parts and plane flooding the market crashing the price. But then why buy them now at the 2billion pricetags ? Oh ! I know so there would be more money siphoned out buying the cheap parts later. Damn politicians they’re very ‘clever’.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          Typhoon is as much a lemon as the F35 the other two agree with you are very good planes, but nothing special. As I said below also is good to do a search on what you assume and know rather than assuming. Especially check the cost maintaining typhoons as well fuel consumption and range.

          • John Whitehot

            one wonders how’s possible that France managed to design,deploy and maintain the Rafale, although at high costs, while all those that bought Eurofighters have had much trouble and even higher costs in keeping a small part of them operational.

            they are pretty much equivalent aircraft in all aspects.

          • Promitheas Apollonious

            on theory yes and on paper on the air it is another story all together at least this is what I been told from pilots of our force that fly both planes.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          keep dreaming kid you still have no idea what you talking about.

        • Sinbad2

          The Rafale is an excellent plane, the Gripen is mediocre at best, and the Eurofighter, like all things designed by committee, is rubbish.

  • Lol. Somebody just suggested buying SU-35 for a NATO country ? Who wrote this article ? Some child from kindergartens probably ? Are you really mad ?

    • John Whitehot

      was thinking the same more or less

      • JPH

        The article exposes the enormous difference in bang for buck.

        • John Whitehot

          look:

          these considerations don”t make much sense.

          westerners, yanks especially, like saying things like “a 20 million missile to destroy a 500000 plane”.

          It’s all bs. You can’t really measure in money military equipment, because what a weapon system is, is much more than the sum of its components.

          if a 500000 $ planes drops a bomb on a 1trillion ship, and sinks it with all the crew, do you think it was right to try shooting it down with a 20 million missile?

          see what i mean? most of this stuff is nonsensical.

    • John Mason

      Seems to be the trend lately, useless and inaccurate articles not just from this site but others also.

  • Sephy

    17M per su35 doesn’t make any sense.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      what exactly doesn’t make any sense can you be more clear?

      • John Mason

        SU35 retails between $40-60M, US dollars.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          I know that. I just did not understand where he found the number is quoting.l

          • You can call me Al

            “Defense had signed a contract with Sukhoi for 50 new Su-35s for a price of $17 million per jet. According to the outlet, for 1.8 billion BGN ($1 billion) the Bulgarian government could purchase 60 Sukhoi Su-35, instead of 8 F-16s from Lockheed Martin. However the worries that Bulgaria might anger its NATO allies makes it impossible for the country to purchase any Russian military hardware.” ………. last paragraph; but even that doesn’t make sense to me.

      • Sephy

        The jets aren’t that cheap.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          no seem to be even more expensive then F35s but then again what is new with US extortion of countries that their politicians are sold out to the globalization group?

  • John Whitehot

    unit cost for SU35S is about 60 millions $. This article is garbage.

    • Barba_Papa

      That’s still a very good price though for a highly advanced modern fighter aircraft. Sukhois have incredibly long range and can carry insane amounts of ordnance, making them good value for money in that regard.

      • John Whitehot

        i did not cast doubts on the validity of the SU-35, but on that of the article.

        • Barba_Papa

          I know. Trust me, I fully know.

    • Zionism = EVIL

      Bulgaria is a pathetic broke lawless failed state where journalists are raped and killed. They are mere puppets of Zionists and buying US junk as extortion money, like the Saudis do too. The Zionists, Saudis and Bulgarians all have one thing in common, they kill journalists.

      • John Whitehot

        “The Zionists, Saudis and Bulgarians all have one thing in common, they kill journalists”

        and blame it on others.

    • World_Eye

      It cost to sell that much, but it cost Russian government 17m for each from Sukhoi, after Russian Air Force will sell it for 60m or so. Do you get it now. Sukhoi cannot sell the Su-35 for 60m to Russia will sell it for 17m as cheap as it gets.

      • John Whitehot

        bs.

    • SG

      With flight costs and maintenance taken into account (parts, and pay for pilots, flight crews, mechanics, etc), depending on the country, one unit of Su-35 can cost up to $90,000,000 USD or more.

      Although quora is similar to yahoo answers, you get far fewer trolls and you sometimes find good answers. I think there are a few good answers in the link below:

      https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-price-of-Su-35

      https://www.quora.com/Why-did-India-buy-the-Dassault-Rafale-instead-of-the-Sukhoi-Su-35-or-the-Mikoyan-MiG-35

      • John Whitehot

        it may be, but the prices of military hardware are considered per unit, without fuel or weapons or external systems.

        it’s a little like when you buy a new car, the price you get is the unit product, you then have to pay for enough fuel to get it from the dealer to your house.

      • JPH

        Now you are talking about life cycle cost, which is something entirely different .

    • JPH

      Source?

      • John Whitehot

        source is every single aviation site you can reach with any search engine.

        prices of weapon system are public knowledge.

        • JPH

          You are well aware that this doesn’t actually amount to a source.
          With respect to public knowledge Business Insider begs to differ even for the F35.
          https://www.businessinsider.com/f-35-national-disaster-2017-3?international=true&r=US&IR=T

          You overlook that thanks to US economic warfare against Russia the Rubble is undervalued. However its purchasing power inside Russia is about 3 times that what you would expect based on you dollar value. Goes a long way explaining that price. Russia has a much more prudent approach much more focused on cost effectiveness.

          Russian defense has much more control over its defense industry and its approach to development is much more evolutionary. Compare that with US nearly always starting from a clean sheet all over again (F18 Superhornet is the successful exception). Look at the F22 (750 -> 187 of which about 125 are with operational squadrons the catastrophe of Hurricane Michael at Tyndall may decimate this force), Zunwalt (32 -> 3), Littoral Combat Ship, Ford Carrier, B2 (100 -> 21), F35 (about 100 now flying will probably never be updated to full capability because the cost of modifying makes it cheaper to build new ones). The F35 still has to start its Operational Test & Evaluation probably resulting in still more modifications. DoD, JPO are now pushing semi illegal contracting of the next batch of F35 claiming cost reductions, but according to POGO this amounts to contracting malfeasance. The oligopoly cost plus contracts are a racket.

          https://www.pogo.org/investigation/2018/03/f-35-still-no-finish-line-in-sight/

          • John Whitehot

            and you’re well aware that i’m no fucking journo and if you want some source you can go get it by yourself.

            you should also realize that all matters on value conversion don’t mean nothing and only a russophobic psychopath would change the numbers involved according to his/her own estimation made who knows where – since the value of the money may change, but the amounts remain the same.

          • JPH

            So you are only venting your opinions.

          • John Whitehot

            and what else would you expect from comment sections?

            besides you can play all high and mighty as much as you want but still haven’t presented evidence about the pricing of the su-35.

  • Barba_Papa

    On the plus side, it’s probably STILL a better deal for Bulgaria then buying the F-35. ;-)

    Thing is though, you buy a military aircraft, you also need to buy its support infrastructure and weapons system. So if you buy F-16’s you buy into an existing support infrastructure and weapons commonality with almost every other NATO country. And there are a shitload of second hand F-16 spare parts available in the world which means you can keep the things flying and operational for a long time. There’s like thousands of them being built. The more there are , the cheaper and easier it becomes to keep them operational. In contrast I’ve read that the Greeks, Indians and Taiwanese have difficulties keeping their Mirage 2000’s operational, because there were only built a couple of hundred of them. So there are less new and second hand spare parts in existence. Which I imagine would also be the case for the SU-35. Which unlike the F-16 means you would have to start operating Russian weapons again.

    And that’s excluding the fact that in this day and age if Bulgaria had bought new Russian gear it would have been hit by US sanctions. And unlike China or India, which can either shrug them off, or are just too important to the US, Bulgaria cannot afford to be targeted by those sanctions.

    • chris chuba

      NATO is a weapons Cartel for the U.S.

      • Barba_Papa

        Not quite, as many EU countries have extensive arms industries themselves. Many produce their own vehicles, and a few their own aircraft. The only reason the Brits buy the F-35 is because they need a STOVL aircraft. And the French and Germans don’t buy any at all.

  • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

    By definition Russian hardware is inferior, even when real data proves the contrary.

    • Dan IS

      No, Tools are not important but the people who use it, look at our bare footed soldiers how strong they are. https://youtu.be/EEjgVwVzSqs?t=36

      • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

        You are partly right.

  • KrA40n1

    Bruv, what is this headline? Bulgaria is maybe the most dependent country in the world no one could or would allow us to what we want Bulgaria must obey the master which has changed for the past 140 years: Russia-Ottoman Empire-Germany-USSR-US-EU. Bulgaria has not been independent country since it was re-established writing anything that Bulgaria “could do” is misleading and requires Bulgaria to be an independent country, which it cannot be if it shall exist(check the map why). No we just follow our master. I’d be more than happy if we were independent but day by day we are getting more and more dependent on the EU and it is funny how Bulgarians are leaving and this country will not exist after the next big war(if there is and if anything exists after such war) or even if there is no war there would be no Bulgarians left here…

    • goingbrokes

      Quite right. It is a misconception that various countries “choose” to buy American equipment. Saudis are compelled to, Israel gets everything free, EU are bound to buy it (or build compatible systems, but this is not the preferred option), and many reluctant countries are bent by a combination of perks, bribes and threats.

  • leon mc pilibin

    Stupid Bulgarians,,just slaves to zionism.

    • 1691

      They are not stupid and this is not their choice.

  • Wolfgang Wolf

    jewish government ministers and jewish seller agents… welcome to zionist paradise))

  • occupybacon

    Maybe but if Bulgaria was partner of Russian Federation instead of NATO it wouldn’t had the $2 billion

    • Sinbad2

      True, America will lend on easy terms, in exchange for total control of Bulgarian assets.
      The US plays Shylock to the world, and it always gets its pound of flesh.

      • occupybacon

        Yeah, americans are canibals that eat bulgarians

      • goingbrokes

        Spot on, except the loans are not from Americans, but from Central Banks, the IMF etc.

  • AM Hants

    Didn’t they use the same excuse, to get out of the Southstream Project? How much has Bulgaria, being good friends of the US?

    • Sinbad2

      It’s the Standard American MO, they bribe some corrupt officials in the victim country, then milk it dry. Somebody has to pay for the American burgers(bread) and media(circuses).

      • JPH

        Actually they prefer indebted countries with weak corrupt leadership. Being indebted that country signs away its sovereignty both on on economic and foreign policy.

        • Sinbad2

          Yeah, well that’s what they are doing, loading Bulgaria up with debt, this is just the beginning.
          All those indebted countries are in debt to Uncle ShylockSam.

          • JPH

            Greece with IMF and EU ‘assistance’ went from 130 to 180 % debt and will now be hosting US bases.

  • I’m sorry – what the author under the impression that spending 2% on defense for NATO meant you can buy your hardware from ANYWHERE?

  • Smaug

    I don’t know where South Front is getting their information for this, but an F-16 cost 15-20 million USD apiece while the much larger S-35 Su-35 costs 40-65 million USD apiece. The overall number is undoubtedly the money allotted for the entire lifetime of the jets but either South Front is being lied to and is not bothering to check their sources or their just lying through their teeth.

    • Sinbad2

      Bribes fool.

    • HBK

      The latest versions of the F-16 (Black 60, 70, 72) costs more than $100 millions per aircaft, including training and spare parts.

    • HBK

      The latest versions of the F-16 (Block 60, 70, 72) costs more than $100 millions per aircaft, including training and spare parts.

      • Smaug

        As I said, the 2 billion USD is undoubtedly set aside for the whole lifespan of the planes. And the Su-35 is much more expensive because it is a large twin engine fighter, but you already know this don’t you?

        • HBK

          A larger airplane does not necessarily means that it would be more expensive. It all depends on the technology and equipment on board. And of course, Russia have a cheaper labour force than the USA.

          • John Whitehot

            “Russia have a cheaper labour force than the USA”

            the USA has a labor force? when did that happen?

  • seawolf

    NATO is full of slave countries

  • Sinbad2

    Could this be connected to the Bulgarian investigative journalist who was raped and murdered recently?

  • stary ujo

    The good news for USA and Trumo , Bulgaria must to pay protection racket .Opposite who ? Russians ?hi..
    The Russians are most peace country all around the World !!

  • goingbrokes

    Lol. NATO is a US MIC buyers’ club. “Buy from us(US) or else…”