OREANDA-NEWS. The Bulgarian government approved on Wednesday a draft agreement with the United States to buy eight F-16 Block 70 fighters from Lockheed Martin. “The Cabinet of Ministers adopted a draft international agreement on the acquisition of F-16 Block 70 fighters, as well as international agreements on the acquisition of ammunition, a multi-function information distribution system and associated equipment for them”, the government press service said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov said at a briefing that the value of the deal would be $ 1.256 billion, and this amount could be reduced by $ 60 million if the proposal is approved in the US Congress. "As part of the agreement, factories for the repair of aircraft equipment will be built in Bulgaria, and the United States will also help in the development of drones," Karakachanov said.

The agreement between Bulgaria and the United States on the purchase of aircraft must be approved by the National Assembly (Parliament) of the country, after which it will be signed.

In the original version, the US administration decided to sell the F-16C/D Block 70/72 fighter jets and related equipment to them for a total of $ 1.673 billion. Permission was granted to sell eight aircraft, as well as related equipment and ammunition to them, training pilots . However, as a result of negotiations, the amount of the transaction was reduced by $ 417 million.

In January, it was reported that the Bulgarian parliament approved a plan to begin negotiations with the United States on the purchase of eight new fourth-generation F-16 multi-functional fighters from Lockheed Martin. "The deal will contribute to the objectives of the foreign policy and national security of the United States, will help strengthen the security of NATO and the security of a key partner of the United States", the US foreign affairs service said.