Russia’s aircraft manufacturer RSK MiG has warned it will sue Bulgaria if its parliament ratifies a jet engine repair deal with Poland, Dnevnik daily reported. The assembly will likely vote on the agreement on November 25.
In October, Bulgarian defence minister Nikolay Nenchev and his Polish counterpart Tomasz Siemoniak signed a €6.1mn contract for Poland to upgrade six Soviet-made MiG-29 jet fighter engines. The engines will have a resource of 350 hours or eight years until the next repair, whereas the guarantee will be 200 hours or two years.
However, RSK MiG representative for Bulgaria, general Aleksandar Aleksandrov, told reporters that the contract will be challenged in court, as Bulgaria and Russia have an agreement on intellectual property, and there is such property in the engines.
Aleksandrov hence called on the lawmakers to not support the deal with Poland. Aleksandrov also reminded that RSK MiG has confirmed its refusal to deliver spare parts to Poland because of the deal with Bulgaria, casting doubt on what parts will be used for the repairs.
As a NATO member, Bulgaria needs to have at its disposal at least one combat squadron of 12 aircraft, while at present it has four MiG-29 fighters in working order and with remaining service life. In the second half of next year, the air force might be left with only two aircraft in good working order, and to avoid this, the government decided to begin with an overhaul of the engines of the MiG-29 fighters.
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