In the State budget update, up to BGN 100 million have been allocated for the budget of the Ministry of Defence, earmarked for the salaries of the Bulgarian servicemen and civilians in the system, outgoing Defence Minister Dragomir Zakov said on bTV. He added that an increase in salaries in the system between 16 and 25% is envisaged.
The biggest increase will be for the lowest ranks where the pay is lower, while command staff will see a 16% pay rise, Zakov said.
The outgoing Defence Minister announced that the Bulgarian army is short of several thousand people. Most of the personnel are needed to fill the vacancies in the lowest army ranks, he added. The high turnover of personnel is due to many factors. The issue is complex – working with old rusty equipment is not pleasant, nor are poor working conditions, he said.
Minister Zakov said that an offer for the new F-16s is expected to be received from the US soon. The first eight aircraft ordered are already on the assembly line, according to Zakov. He expects the offer for the new planes to be comparable to the first one. By 2028, Bulgaria should have a squadron of operational F-16s, he added.
Asked what the risks for Bulgaria from the war in Ukraine are, Zakov said that at the moment there is no direct military threat to our country. Bulgaria is sufficiently well protected within NATO, he added.
Bulgaria is currently exposed to the threat of ballistic missile attacks and is in critical need of upgrading its air defense capabilities, warns Deputy Minister of Defense Atanas Zapryanov in an interview with Nova TV. Seeking assistance from the United States, Zapryanov emphasized Read more…