Bulgaria Updates Its Security Strategy And Suspends Privatization of the Defence Industry
Bulgarian government adopted a new national security strategy which is taking into account the dynamic security context and the new hybrid war threats – as the Novinite outlet reports. Meanwhile, privatization process pertaining to the defence industry has been suspended.
As the Novinite agency reports, the decision to update the security strategy is a consequence of the changes occurring within the geopolitical context. The document takes into account the new spectrum of threats, related to the hybrid conflicts, which is probably caused by the Ukrainian crisis. Particular emphasis is being placed on coordination of the operational activities undertaken by the army, and by the public administration organs and international structures, including the NATO collective defence system and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union.
The updated strategy is a consequence of the fact that Bulgaria took a decision to initiate a process of a wider modernization of the armed forces. Increased expenditure is going to allow the Bulgarians to acquire a minor number of new multi-role fighter aircraft, modular patrol vessels, and finally, to modernize and carry out overhauls of the MiG-29 fighters, operated currently. The initial works related to logistical and technical support for the aforementioned airframes have already been initiated by the Polish facilities. Modernization of the Bulgarian Fulcrums will also, probably, take place in Poland.
READ MORE: Bulgarian Ministry of Defence To Acquire Three Fighters For The Air Force
According to the new assumptions, the Army is going to ultimately involve 37 up to 40 thousand troops. It is expected that the relevant modernization expenditure is going to be increased. At the moment, the property expenditures account constitutes only 6% of the defence budget in total. Bulgarian forces are also involved in the border protection activities, intensified in the light of the immigration crisis.
According to Novinite, the new strategy also assumes that privatization process concerning the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence is going to be suspended. VMZ-Sopot and Kintex companies will not be sold, at least until 2018 and 2019 respectively. The former company manufactures artillery shells, anti-tank grenades, Fagot, Metys and Konkurs ATGMs, with the missiles being a subject of a license manufacturing initiative. The latter company deals with supplies of a variety of armament, including small arms, grenade launchers and additional equipment.