Bulgarian PM: Everybody Wants to Buy New Planes for the Air-Force. And What About Maintenance?

During a meeting of the government today, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov "attacked" his colleagues in frustration caused by the ongoing debate about the new planes for the Air Force. Borisov has on more than one occasion said that buying the planes would be the easiest thing to do. The hard part would be the repercussions of such a decision. 

Previously he stated: "If we buy the planes now - what do you think happens? All that money that we could invest in teachers, in new jobs, doctors, workers. Everybody wants everything to be done. I do too. I'm the Prime Minister. I want everything to be done probably more than you do." But now his concerns are making more and more sense. When asked about the planes in today's meeting, Borisov was quick to share some data and explain why he is reluctant to approve of the purchase of planes. 

According to Borisov Bulgaria has 12 "Cougar" choppers but only 4 of them are opperational. Additionally Bulgaria has 3 "Spartan" airplanes - only 1 operational but only until the end of 2017 and 3 "Panther" choppers. What do all of these have in common? They are all transportation aircrafts i.e not exactly what our military needs. The PM urged his colleagues (the Ministers of Interior and Warfare) to explain this strange phenomenon to their colleagues and to everybody that will eventually read about the meeting. "Why to we have 18 aircrafts that are transportation class aircrafts. Why do 98-99% of our military budget go into these aircrafts? And why are only several of them operational?" 

That was Borisov's main point - the government has been quick to buy inexpensive equipment and vehicles but doesn't seem ready to pay the real price of inexpensive goods - and that is the money that goes for maintenance. It was then confirmed by other Ministers that the project for the purchase of airplanes forsees 6 Mi-17's from which only 1 is operational and ready to fly. 

Vasil Manev

Vasil Manev is a student in Computer Science and an aspiring columnist, studying in Heidelberg, Germany.

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