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US State Department approves possible Stryker sale to Bulgaria

A US Army Stryker vehicle arriving at Burgas Airport, Bulgaria, on 29 March 2015 for training with NATO allies in support of Operation ‘Atlantic Resolve-South'. (US Army)

The US State Department has approved the possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Bulgaria of 183 Stryker armoured vehicles worth USD1.5 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced in a press release on 1 September.

The proposed sale would consist of 90 XM1296 Infantry Carrier Vehicles – Dragoon, 17 M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicles, nine M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicles, 33 M1130 Command Vehicles, 24 M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicles, 10 M1135 Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicles, five Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) Light Equipment Transports (LETs), five Modular Catastrophic Recovery Systems, two M1120A4 HEMTT Load Handling Systems, five M984A4 Wrecker HEMTTs, and 107 M240 7.62 mm co-axial machine guns. Logistics and support equipment include M-153A4 Common Remotely Operated Weapon Stations (CROWS), Forward Repair Systems, M2A1 50-calibre machine guns, M6 smoke grenade launchers and associated spares, Harris radios, AN/VAS-5 Driver's Vision Enhancer (DVE), DVE Wide, communications equipment, RS6 (LW30) remote weapon systems, TacFLIR 280-HDEP systems, Ranger R20SS radars, ROVER 6Si transceivers, and spare parts.

The DSCA said the sale would improve Bulgaria's rapid infantry deployment and force projection capability, which Bulgaria would use to strengthen homeland defence and deter regional threats. Bulgaria is procuring at least 90 armoured combat vehicles and 60 special support vehicles under the Battalion Battle Group acquisition project to equip a heavy mechanised brigade.

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