The contract for Bulgaria’s $1.26 billion deal to purchase eight new F-16 fighter jets and supporting equipment went into effect on Tuesday following its publication in the Bulgarian State Gazette.
The fact that the deal has been promulgated is significant because Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, who last week vetoed the purchase, saying the lack of consensus on the deal was “worrying,” no longer can amend the national budget, into which the purchase has already been included.
The national parliament overturned the presidential veto on Friday.
The F-16 deal is Bulgaria’s biggest military purchase since the fall of communism three decades ago. According to the Bulgarian National Radio, the first F-16 will arrive by mid-2023, followed by four more by the end of that year. The rest will arrive in 2024.