Polish Jet Engines Delivered To Bulgaria

Two engines for the Polish MiG-29 fighters have been delivered by the Polish C-130 airlifter to Bulgaria. The engines have been loaned by the Polish Air Force.On its return trip, the aircraft transported the initial batch of the Bulgarian jet engines that are going to be overhauled in Poland, within the scope of the EUR 6 million contract, concluded in October this year.

The agreement, the value of which is contained in an amount of EUR 6.128 million, is related to overhauls of six Klimov RD-33 engines used in the Bulgarian MiG-29 fighter jets. At the same time, such engines are going to be provided for the Bulgarian Air Force by its Polish counterpart.

On 29th December 2015, Polish C-130 Hercules air lifter landed at the Bulgarian Graf Ignatievo airbase, delivering the Polish engines for the Bulgarian MiG-29 fighter jets. One day later, the Polish Hercules returned to Poland carrying two, out of six, Bulgarian RD-33 engines, the overhauls of which are going to be carried out by the WZL-4 (Military Aviation Works) facility in Warsaw.

The overhauls are an element of the intergovernmental agreement between Poland and Bulgaria, covering the logistical support for the MiG-29 fighter jets. The contract was concluded on 22nd October 2015, when Bulgarian Defence Minister, Nikolay Nenchev, visited Poland. The initial phase of the operation is going to involve overhauls of the Bulgarian engines. In the future, the Bulgarian MiG-29 fighters are to be modernized, within the scope similar, as in case of the upgrades implemented on the Polish Fulcrums.

According to the information published by the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence, not only is the agreement signed with the Polish counterpart significantly more cost-effective, from the one, proposed by the MiG company, but it is also expanded, in comparison with the technical conditions offered by the Russians. The WZL-4 overhauled engines will come with a 2-years/200 hours of flight guarantee, twice as much as in case of the RKS MiG offer. At the same time, the realization term in the Polish agreement is defined as six months, starting from the moment when the engine is delivered to the repair facility. The Russians realized the overhauls in a period of 15-16 months, with agreed term of 11 months. The Polish contract is almost 30% cheaper, if calculated with a reference to a single hour of flight-time.