by Staff Writers
Sofia (AFP) Oct 24, 2017
Bulgarian air force pilots refused to fly their Soviet-built MiG-29 jets for planned training on Wednesday, blaming safety concerns and a lack of flight preparation.
"Some of the pilots from Graf Ignatievo air base will not perform training flights because of insecurity," deputy defence minister Atanas Zapryanov confirmed after a report by specialist website Aero about the boycott.
The pilots cited concerns for poor preparedness due to lack of flying hours, according to the minister.
Out of a fleet of 16, Bulgaria's air force currently has just seven ageing MiG-29 aircraft in good flying order.
The Balkan country has launched a 770-million-euro (905-million-dollar) tender to replace them with eight new fighter jets -- options include Sweden's Gripen planes, second-hand Eurofighter Tycoon fighters from Italy or used F-16s from the US and Portugal.
But the procedure -- which earlier this year shortlisted Gripen as the preferred option -- was recently sidetracked by the current conservative cabinet of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
The government is now expected to re-launch the investment project but only seek proposals for new aircraft, which also offer an extended payment scheme, Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov said recently.
Karakachanov also insisted that Bulgaria will aim to renovate all its 16 MiG-29s and some 20 Su-25 bombers.
The ministry has recently received four new MiG-29 engines, and six used ones, in a deal with Russia but problems with the documentation have delayed their use.
As a NATO member since 2004, the Balkan country has an obligation to keep at least one squadron of 12 planes in good fighting order.
Since February 2016, the country's inability to do so has forced the parliament to authorise NATO to help protect its air space.
Washington (UPI) Oct 20, 2017
After a 14-year battle to vindicate two U.S. Marine Corps aviators who were killed and subsequently blamed for crashing of a MV-22 Osprey claimed the lives of 17 other Marines, a Republican Congressman wants information as to why the pilots were incorrectly faulted for the crash itself. During a joint press conference in Washington, D.C., Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., along with Trisha Bro ... read more
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|