The US defense department has awarded Lockheed Martin a $512 million contract to build and deliver eight F-16 multi-role fighters for Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian defense ministry said the first two aircraft are to be delivered in mid-2023 and the last two in the first quarter of 2024. Lockheed Martin is expected to complete all work under the contract by 2027.
The Pentagon announcement comes after Bulgaria’s acquisition of the new fighters was approved by the US State Department in July 2019.
According to an announcement at the time, Bulgaria requested the purchase of six single-seat aircraft and a pair of two-seat aircraft under a deal that had an estimated total value of $1.67 billion. Also included in the foreign military sale were sensors, weapons, training, and spares.
The F-16 fighters are set to replace Bulgaria’s ageing MiG-29 fighters.