SOFIA, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- The United States, Sweden and Italy have offered to sell jet fighters to Bulgaria at its request, the Bulgarian defense ministry said Monday in a statement on its website.
The United States has proposed new F-18s and F-16s, Sweden, new Gripens, and Italy, used Eurofighters.
The ministry has also sent requests to France for new and used Rafales, Germany for new and used Eurofighters, Portugal for used F-16s and Israel for used F-16s, the statement said.
A working group appointed by the Bulgarian prime minister is to analyze the submitted proposals and hold talks with the respective countries, the statement said.
After that, the Bulgarian government will take a decision on the implementation of the project.
Under the project, Bulgaria would buy 16 jets in two stages.
During the first stage, for which there is a budget of 1.8 billion Bulgarian lev (1.1 billion U.S. dollars), no less than eight combat aircraft would be acquired.
This money would cover the acquisition of the aircraft and their weapons, as well as the ground handling, training, and initial integrated logistic support over a period of three years.
Bulgaria, a NATO member since 2004, still heavily relies on Soviet-made weapons.