During a recent official visit to the Czech Republic, the Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force Major-General Konstantin Popov flew the multirole Gripen fighter.
Image: Czech Gripen at take-off. Photo: Per Kustvik, Condesign.
Major-General Popov was invited by Brigadier General Jiri Verner, who is Commander of the Czech Air Force. During the visit they discussed the possibilities for bilateral cooperation and the use of modern equipment by the Air Force. Brigadier General Verner acquainted his colleague with the Czech experience of operating Gripen. They also visited the training centre in Pardubice where the Czech Air Force training programmes take place.
Modernisation of the Bulgarian Air Force
Saab is committed to the process of modernising the Bulgarian Air Force and hopes for a transparent tender for the acquisition of fighters expected in 2012.
In 2004, the Czech Republic signed an agreement with Sweden regarding the lease of 14 of the latest generation Gripen aircraft (12 single-seat and 2 two-seat) for a period of ten years (2005-2015) to replace its Russian-designed MiG-21 fighters.