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F/A-18E For Bulgaria?  
User currently offlineMigFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 5636 times:

I have heard through an aviation periodical that Bulgaria is looking at the F/A-18E Super Hornet. Can anyone add to this? The Super Hornet may be a bit expensive for the type, but I would like to see it happen. Would the State Department get onboard with the idea?
I would think that the F/A-18E would be best for Australia. It could give them a single cost-effective platform to replace their early hornets and F-111s.

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 5632 times:

I've heard the same thing, I wouldn't see why not..the State Department as you know has exported the "legacy" Hornets to several countries, and we have alot of satisfied customers in that realm. The Echo would be a great replacement for the Aussies, but I wouldn't think they're in the market to replace their Aardvarks or older Hornets just yet? In fact, don't replace the 111 just yet, noone else torches their fuel for us!

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineMigFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 5628 times:

Here, here!

My first KC-135 mission was to refuel some FB-111As back in the SAC era. The F-111 is just a cool aircraft. I would hate to see it go too.

I was just wondering about the "stealth" technology in the "Super Bug", that would prevent any sale to the former Eastern block. I guess I would hate to see them end up with the standard issue F-16/C-130 NATO combo.

/M


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 5579 times:

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 1):
know has exported the "legacy" Hornets to several countries, and we have alot of satisfied customers in that realm. The Echo would be a great replacement for the Aussies, but I wouldn't think they're in the market to replace their Aardvarks or older Hornets just yet?

On that same note the Echo Hornet is the best platform to replace all of the remaining USAF F-15C's that the F-22A's will not be able to - but I don't expect the USAF or the RAAF to buy into the Super Bugs any time soon. In fact, I believe the RAAF Hornets are going to get an entire cockpit and avionics upgrade, or was that Canada I cannot remember off hand?!  Smile


User currently offlineMigFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 5577 times:

I do not know the future Canada has in store for her Hornets. It could be that they may go the way of New Zealand, and retire their fighter force when it becomes obsolete. It is not like they have a need for such aircraft. There is no apparent threat to Canadian security today. At least nothing that a fighter plane would change. Canada has no modern perceived threats.

It's good to be Canadian!

The ASRAAM has been fitted to Aussie F/A-18As. Their situation is not as secure as Canada. The biggest threat from abroad for Australia could be Singapore, Indonesia, or Malaysia. These countries are arming themselves with Su-27s, Mig-29s, F/A-18Ds, and F-16Cs. Time to wake up and smell the upgrades.

/M


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 5555 times:

Canada is obligated to support their share of air defence by treaties (NATO and NORAD) and will probably replace their Hornets with F-35s.

Bulgaria probably could not afford enough F/A-18Es to constitute an adequate force, and would be better served by F-16s (used probably), which would provide a modern and fast jet for their fighter and strike needs. I could see them buying 24 used AM/BMs from some NATO countries currently looking to purchase F-35's.

They would be excellent airplanes, though, if the Bulgarians could afford enough of them to carry out their responsibilities.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2619 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 5536 times:
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Well there are several planes being considered. Although there is not an official contest for what plane would be chosen both Lockheed and Boeing have contacted the Bulgarian military. Bulgaria is being offered 20 F/A-18Es for the sum of $1.73 billion which includes everything needed(pilot training, infrastructure, simulators, spare parts...). On the other hand Lockheed is offering the F-16 at around $72 million per plane (again that includes everything except pilot training AFAIK) which is about $14 million cheaper. Also the Gripen is being offered but as of now it isn't as serious as the F/A-18 and F-16. Don't forget there still is a high chance that Bulgaria will elect to modernize the Mig-29s. A graph I saw in a Bulgarian flight magazine said that modernizing and operating Mig-29s would end up about five times cheaper than F-16s. The F/A-18 IMO is too expensive and unneeded for Bulgaria. maintenance would be more expensive and it is a heavy fighter...it would be more comparable to a Su-27. Look at Poland it bought F-16s and still uses the Mig-29s. I think the Mig-29 should be used. We have the infrastructure, pilots and experience with it. Sure the above figures reresent some estimated cost but the pilots and tech staff would need to relearn. In fact we should buy new Mig-29s. But if not, I still vote F-16 or Gripen.

User currently offlineMissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 5528 times:

Quoting MigFan (Reply 4):
I do not know the future Canada has in store for her Hornets.

The current upgraded standard CF-18AM & BM are meant remain in service until the 2020's.
Canadian Hornet Upgrades
The off-boresight missile aquisition mentioned in the above link has been shelved, at least for the time being.



Can you hear me now?
User currently offlineMigFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5471 times:

Perhaps it would make financial sense not to buy the Super Hornets, but used F-16 is not a competitive alternative.

I totally agree that upgrading the Mig-29s is a better option. Would it still be the cheapest option to outfit these aircraft with items such as in-flight refueling, precision guided multirole capability? Maybe a take-off from the Rumanian "Sniper" upgrade a few years ago will be a good place to start.

/M


User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4689 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5425 times:

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 6):

You have very good points, at least in the air-to-air role, a modernized MiG-29 with a new radar and new weapons is more capable than the F-16 or F/A-18.

And if Bulgaria hasn´t got enough MiG-29s, I´m sure Romania will be happy to sell theirs as they´re out of service now. Maybe Bulgaria will even choose the Sniper program, which was designed with NATO interoperability in mind.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2619 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5372 times:
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It is obvious that the upgrading of the Mig-29s is the best option. However this is not being done for several reasons. First, this was attempted in 2002 with OKB Mig being responsible for modernisation. The deal fell through because of misunderstandings. However more importantly the reason the Mig-29 might not be modernised is the well known reason called POLITICS. If Bulgaria is to join NATO, there is a lot of pressure to buy Western equipment. Unfortunately the Bulgarian government is easily pressured and will probably buy into the BS reasons about why the used F-16s or F/A-18s are better. This personally angers me very much. Why throw away all the Mig-29s(and experience along with them) and start all over, wasting more money to accomplish the same purpose? With the money saved, not only would all our Mig-29s be flying and modern, we could also do the same to the aging Mi-24 fleet. The Bulgarian government has made mistake after mistake concerning the armed forces. Mainly we retired Mig-23s but kept -21s which are much less capable. Also the Su-22s were retired leaving us without any recon/strike aircraft(unless you count the Su-25). About the Romanian Mig-29s, they might need some serious work to put them back in the air and I dont know how feasible that would be.

User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4689 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5345 times:

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 10):
Unfortunately the Bulgarian government is easily pressured and will probably buy into the BS reasons about why the used F-16s or F/A-18s are better. This personally angers me very much.

Very true, it has already happened in Romania, where those MiG-29s are left on the ground !
 banghead 



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineTaromA380 From Romania, joined Sep 2005, 334 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5243 times:

Yes, they said maintenance is too expensive. Also keep in mind that the romanians MiG-29 were first (old) models, not the -M one, so an upgrade to modern avionics would be extensive too. Beside that, Russia is not very happy with the new NATO orientation of Romania and Bulgaria, so russians won't sell fairly priced spare parts.

User currently offlineMigfan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5238 times:

It would be nice if Romania, and Bulgaria could work a collective deal to upgrade the Mig-29s with a third party, say Israel. The equipment retention, based on cost does make sense. What real threat does Romania and Bulgaria have besides terrorists? If need be, a Mig-21 could shoot down an airliner. Perhaps it would also be nice to take a closer look at some Mirage 2000s, or the Gripen.

/M


User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7705 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5235 times:

What would the Russians prefer.

Upgrading the MIG29's and may be selling the next generation or have these countries go for F16's, probably followed in due course by F35's.


User currently offlineContact_tower From Norway, joined Sep 2001, 536 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5189 times:

F-18E => Waaaaaaaaay to expensive!

 bomb 


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5149 times:

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 6):
I think the Mig-29 should be used. We have the infrastructure, pilots and experience with it. Sure the above figures reresent some estimated cost but the pilots and tech staff would need to relearn

I tend to agree that the MiG-29, if upgraded, would be a good option.

I do think that supplementing them with perhaps a squadron of Gripens or F-16s would be the right mix. You need something with precision strike capability, and the ability to cooperate effectively with the NATO allies. That's the real reason for western equipment.

If they do upgrade the MiGs they need to stay away from the Russian manufacturors, and maybe team up with Romania or Israel for such help since they have the most experience. The MiGs would need avionics and communications upgrades more than anything else, so they can be effectively used as interceptors in a NATO joint environment.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4889 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 3 hours ago) and read 4256 times:

Seven years on and the quest seems to have finally found the Holy Grail...and it's not even the regular Hornet...  

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...garia-to-buy-third_hand-f_16s.html

(Source: Sofia News Agency; published Jan. 3, 2013)

Quote:
"Bulgaria's much anticipated fighter jets purchase will likely come to a disappointing end as the Bulgarian Defense Ministry has decided to buy expensive third-hand F-16s from Portugal, according to the Bulgarian press.

Bulgaria's government is thus expected to pay BGN 700 M for nine F-16s Block 15 to Portugal even though in 1999 Portugal paid twice less – BGN 268 M – to the US government for 25 second-hand F-16 planes, the Bulgarian daily Sega reported Thursday.

The Bulgarian Air Force is thus expected to get 'third-hand' planes for a much higher price, the daily concludes, noting that the board numbers of the second-hand Portuguese F-16s were published at http://f-16.net, and the 9 planes destined for Bulgaria are from among the 25 planes that Portugal bought from the USA 13 years ago."



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http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=146529

Quote:
"According to the Sega daily, some of the 12 planes that Portugal has offered to Romania, have also been offered to Bulgaria, which is why the Bulgarian Defense Ministry is in a hurry to complete the deal.

According to cited sources from Bulgaria's Defense Ministry, back in 2009 the Portuguese Air Force offered on sale F-16s with the following board numbers: 15125, 15126, 15127, 15139, 15128, 15129, 15130, 15137, 15131 and 15138.

The Bulgarian Defense Ministry has asked for 6-7 one-seat fighter jets, and 2 two-seat fighter jets.

The planes in question are among the 25 F-16s Block 15 delivered to Portugal by the USA in 1999 under the Peace Atlantis II Program. Before that, they had been used by the US Air Force since 1984, and were used for 10 years, after that they were stored in the US air base Hill."



Hmmn...are Bulgaria and Romania competing for possession of legacy Falcons? MLUs would be critical if those were to stay relevant in the next 25 years of their foreseen extended service life.   



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently onlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2619 posts, RR: 17
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 2 hours ago) and read 4222 times:
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There is still nothing official. Nothing has been decided. Nobody has committed to buying these F-16s. The whole new fighter acquisition program has been under a lot of fire in the Bulgarian media in the last year or two mainly because of the blunderous and at times seemingly random statements from the Bulgarian minister of defense and because of the nontransparent nature of the way everything is done. It seems every couple of months he changes his story. The problem is there is no fair and transparent acquisition contest which would allow every candidate to bid for the win. One day they just decided that Portugal's F-16s were the best for us but it was all done very shady claiming it was a "political" decision. Now with the elections coming next year, who knows what will really happen.

Keep in mind these F-16s are technically meant to replace the dwindling numbers of MiG-21s and Su-25s which are on their last breath. In theory these F-16s should serve alongside the MiG-29 however I fear it will somehow turn into an excuse for them to remove the MiG-29s as well. This would drastically reduce the capabilities of the air force.


User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2699 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2867 times:

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 6):
In fact we should buy new Mig-29s. But if not, I still vote F-16 or Gripen.

Fully agree; the F-18E is overkill, too large and expensive a platform for Bulgaria's needs. Upgrading the MiG's is the best option. Maybe even get new MiG-35's later on. Among the Western fighters, I'd go for Gripen over F-16, it packs a great "bang for the buck". But MiG-29 upgrade is the most reasonable way to go IMO.

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 10):
If Bulgaria is to join NATO, there is a lot of pressure to buy Western equipment. Unfortunately the Bulgarian government is easily pressured and will probably buy into the BS reasons about why the used F-16s or F/A-18s are better.

Unfortunately, I also agree with you on this...   

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 17):

"Bulgaria's much anticipated fighter jets purchase will likely come to a disappointing end as the Bulgarian Defense Ministry has decided to buy expensive third-hand F-16s from Portugal, according to the Bulgarian press.
Quoting sovietjet (Reply 18):
There is still nothing official. Nothing has been decided.

I hope you are right.... but in fact it would be your prediction from svereal years ago coming true... BG buying into a bad deal to make some "NATO friends" and proably some politician buying himself a new villa in the process...


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