Bulgarian Fighter Pilots Refuse to Get in Their MiG-29s in Protest

Today, the pilots from the Bulgarian Air Force base "Graf Ignatievo" refused to get on their outdated MiG-29s for military drills in protest for the poor state of the service.

All the pilots said that they feel unsafe flying in their MiG-29, which are Cold-War era fighter jets that have been in service for decades. A recent scandal revealed that the planes weren’t properly maintained. Other than that, the MiGs are borderline obsolete and wouldn’t be competitive on the modern battlefield.

Currently, Bulgarian news media sites often report on the feuds between the President and the government on the modernization of the Bulgarian military. The President Rumen Radev was himself part of the Bulgarian Air Force for 29 years, including serving as its commander between 2014 and 2016.

The Bulgarian military is full of military hardware that’s leftover from the Cold War when the country was part of the Warsaw Pact. Bulgaria is now part of NATO but still uses lots of Russian-made hardware. This creates the awkward situation where our NATO-allied military must rely on the Russian Federation for parts to the old Soviet gear it's using.

A recent scandal revealed that Russia sold Bulgaria jet engines that weren’t properly documented. Officially, Russia and NATO aren’t on great terms, so nobody would expect Russia to give proper arms to potential military opponents. The President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev has been a strong proponent of adopting NATO F-16 jets into the Air Force.

It is generally considered that in any encounters with a modern air-force the MIG-29s would be borderline useless.

More on the F-16 feud - Bulgarian President Ready to Make Peace with the Prime Minister

Alex Dimchev

Alex Dimchev is a writer, editor, and weapons master for EUscoop.com

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