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(DF) Defence Ministry Terminates Procedure for Acquisition of Armoured Combat Vehicles for Land Forces

March 16 (BTA) - The Bulgarian Defence Ministry said in a press release on Tuesday that it is terminating the procedure for acquisition of armoured combat vehicles for the Land Forces. Letters to this effect have been sent to the two shortlisted bidders, the General Dynamics multinational company and Finland's Patria. Both price offers significantly exceed the framework approved by Parliament, the Ministry said. In June 2018, the National Assembly approved the planned purchase of 150 armoured vehicles, including 90 combat ones and 60 special-purpose and support ones, at a maximum price of 1.24 billion leva before VAT, payable over 10 years. The price offers of General Dynamics and Patria were opened at the Defence Ministry in Sofia on October 2, 2021. No details about the offers were made public. On October 8, Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Velichkov confirmed to reporters that both price offers did not comply with the financial framework approved by Parliament, but he did not specify the margin of the discrepancy. The termination of the procedure came after Defence Krassimir Karakachanov assigned a special politico-military working group to approach representatives of the two companies about options to reduce the prices. It emerged from the talks that this is impossible without a material change of the project's terms of reference for the performance of the equipment, which would enable the bidders to offer alternative technical solutions without changing the vehicles' required combat capabilities. At the same time, a possible change in the requirements would discriminate against the bidders that have already dropped out of the procedure, the press release specified. In a related development, Karakachanov assigned the management of the state-owned Terem Holding to explore opportunities for organizing joint manufacture of combat vehicles on Bulgarian territory with maximum involvement of the Bulgarian defence industry. "I don't think it would be right to rush things, so that the next Bulgarian government, the next minister of defence will move forward or ask Parliament for more money to carry on the project,'' Karakachanov commented to reporters on March 5. He denied that the modernization project itself for the procurement of armoured combat vehicles for the Land Forces had been abandoned. RI/DT // 17 Март 2021, 08:00

Източник: BTA Free News

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