WARSAW, Poland — Bulgarian Defense Minister Todor Tagarev said the government aims to negotiate a lower price in the potential deal to buy 183 Stryker combat vehicles from the United States than the $1.5 billion estimate published by the U.S. government.
“On the American side, the sale, the potential sale, has been approved by both the Pentagon and the State Department,” Tagarev said, as quoted on Monday by local news agency Novinite. “On their side, it is yet to reach Congress, because only Congress can make the final decision. These are the parameters, this is the maximum amount of equipment and the maximum negotiable price in this project,” he added.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Sept. 1 said the State Department had approved a possible foreign military sale of Strykers and related gear. Unless lawmakers block the sale, which is unlikely, Sofia will engage in further negotiations with Washington, including pricing of the vehicles, which are manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems.
In his remarks on Monday, Tagarev said that Bulgaria will accelerate its efforts to establish “a heavy mechanized brigade and [projects] related to guaranteeing security in the Black Sea,” according to a statement released by the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence.
Similarly to a number of other allies on NATO’s eastern flank, Bulgaria has intensified its military modernization projects in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.