Bulgaria’s Ministry of Defense announced that, on August 5, it had sent formal Requests for Proposals (RFP) to four companies invited to bid to supply armored infantry carriers. These four companies are ARTEC GmbH (Germany), Patria (Finland), Nexter Systems (France) and General Dynamics European Land Systems – MOWAG (Switzerland).
The deadline for submission is October 31, 2019, reports Army Recognition.
In February 2019, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence delayed the procurement of 150 new wheeled armored vehicles to equip three battalion-size battlegroups for a mechanized brigade. For this new tender, Bulgaria plans to select a winner by December 2019.
The Bulgarian defense ministry had announced a plan to spend €1.75 billion on rearmament programs between 2017 and 2029. The programs envisage the purchase of new combat aircraft for €750 million, multi-purpose modular patrol vessels for €410 million and military equipment for land forces for €610 million.
Currently, Bulgarian armed forces are mainly equipped with Soviet-made wheeled armored vehicles including BTR-60PB 8×8 personnel carriers and BRDM-2 4×4 armored vehicles. Bulgaria has also developed a modernized version of the Soviet-made BTR-60PB (called BTR-60PB-MD) with a new engine, a new design of the hull with side doors and additional protection.
The vehicles presented by the four selected competitors are the Boxer from ARTEC (Rheinmetall- Krauss-Maffei Wegmann), the VBCI from Nexter, the AMV from Patria and the Piranha 5 from General Dynamics European Land Systems.
An interdepartmental working group on selecting the final contractor has a deadline set on December 20, 2019, to analyze and evaluate the submitted bids, the Defence Ministry said. The time interval for the contract implementation covers 12 years.