Military Capabilities

Low serviceability leads to Bulgarian pilots refusing to fly MiG-29s

25 October 2017

Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF) MiG-29 pilots on 24 October stopped all scheduled flight activities other than quick reaction alert (QRA) from Graf Ignatievo air base, near Plovdiv, in south-central Bulgaria. This is a culmination of the crisis in BuAF supersonic aviation, which since late 2014 has been suffering from poor logistics that has steadily reduced the serviceability of the MiG-29 fleet, significantly increasing the risk of accidents and incidents.

The crisis worsened on 19 October, when the Bulgarian National Assembly's defence committee was notified that the BuAF could not use six out of the 10 RD-33 turbofan jet engines recently delivered by Russia.

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