skip to main content

Bulgaria signs LOA for follow-on F-16s

Having contracted an initial eight F-16s, Bulgaria has now signed an LOA for the same number again. (US Air Force)

Bulgaria has signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) for additional Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft that were cleared for sale by the United States earlier in 2022.

The manufacturer announced the development on 28 November, noting that this second batch of F-16C/D Block 70s will extend Bulgaria's future fleet to 16 aircraft once deliveries are complete.

Bulgarian Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov announced on 21 September that a total of USD1.3 billion is to be spent on the eight additional F-16s to equip the Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF) with a full squadron.

With F-16 deliveries expected to commence in 2027, the BuAF is seeking an interim fighter from either France (Dassault Mirage 2000 or Rafale) or Sweden (Saab Gripen) to bridge the gap with the retirement of the MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum' in 2023.

As the most up-to-date version of the Fighting Falcon, the F-16 Block 70 features the General Electric F100-GE-129D engine (the Block 72 is fitted with the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW229EEP engine, while the F-16V designation denotes a remanufactured airframe that has been brought to the same standard). The Block 70/72 is equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar that is derived from the F-16E/F Block 60 AN/APG-80 and also known as the Scalable Agile Beam Radar, a new Raytheon mission computer, the Link 16 datalink, modern cockpit displays, an enhanced electronic warfare system, and a ground collision avoidance system.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...