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Bulgaria expects 8 F-16 fighters in 2025, and another 8 in 2027 after the Bulgarian and American governments signed delivery contracts.

The company that produces the F-16 Block 70 is the American Lockheed Martin.

At the moment, they produce the same fighters for 5 other countries, except for Bulgaria. 

According to Jonathan Lin, who is responsible for strategic partnerships with Central and Eastern Europe, the production of the Bulgarian batch of aircraft has already begun.

"The F-16 has been produced for more than 40 years in our factories, so it is not something new for our company. We had a successful 50-minute test flight this week, so this model is already flying and we will produce quite a few of it until 2025. "Six countries want the F-16. Two of our pilots, nicknamed The Siren and The Professional, flew the fighter, which is a cornerstone of what we do. They gave a very good assessment of their condition," Lin said.

Lockheed Martin has announced that it is accelerating production of F-16 fighter jets

According to him, the main assembly of the planes is currently underway.

"We still don't have all eight fighters from the first batch, so far we only have the first one. We hope to assemble it and see it flying next year. We have made improvements to the electronically scanned array radar system, similar to the F-35. It is generation 4 + of the fighters. The automatic collision avoidance system saves 10+ pilot lives. If the pilot loses consciousness or the ability to fly, the software stabilizes the machine," he explained.

Jonathan Lin reported that several Bulgarian pilots are being trained in the USA.

"They are getting practice in the fighters, currently Bulgarians are undergoing training in Arizona. I can say that we are working on having them around 2025. You can get the second batch in 2027," Lin revealed.

F-16 fighter jets

Lockheed Martin