According to the information released by the Novinite.com outlet, the framework agreement which is going to regulate the military cooperation between Bulgaria and Poland has been approved by the Bulgarian Council of Ministers. Scope of the document is going to cover, inter alia, execution of the overhauls regarding the Bulgarian MiG-29 fighters, by the Polish aviation facilities.
According to the available information, the relevant agreement is going to be signed during Tomasz Siemoniak’s (Polish Minister of Defence) visit to Bulgaria, which is scheduled to happen in August. Bulgaria has been planning to carry out the MiG-29 overhauls in Poland for many reasons, including the fact that the country is willing to be independent, within that scope, from the services provided by the Russians.
In July this year, Nikolay Nenchev, Bulgarian Minister of Defence, stated in his interview for Reuters that Sofia is very strongly tied to the Russian Arms industry, due to the fact that it utilizes the post-Soviet weapons – including the MiG-21 and MiG-29 jet fighters. In the light of the current situation, the authorities of Bulgaria are willing to change the above state of affairs.
Meanwhile, the plan of acquiring Western-made jets that could replace the Bulgarian MiG-21 and MiG-29 fighters was postponed, due to the budgetary constraints. Bulgarian Minister of Defence, prior to that postponement, was authorized to start negotiations regarding the potential acquisition of the second hand F-16 fighters from Greece, or from the Netherlands.
In Poland, the overhauls and modernization of the MiG-29 fighter jets are executed by the WZL No. 2 [Military Aviation Works No. 2] facility based in Bydgoszcz. Back in 2014 the facility has completed a modernization programme, related to the jets belonging to the 23rd Air Base from Minsk Mazowiecki.