The Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF) will ground its last operational C-27J Spartan twin-engine tactical transport in early 2018 if no solution is found by then for logistical support from Leonardo Aircraft, Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov said on 7 December.
The five-year, EUR25 million (USD29 million) technical support agreement between the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Leonardo ended in March 2017 because there were no funds to extend it in the 2017 or 2018 defence budgets.
Karakachanov said Leonardo Aircraft already offered Bulgaria a new technical support agreement for four years for EUR17 million and that the MoD drove down the value of the offer but failed to secure the necessary funds.
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