Five defense companies are vying to clinch a 400-million lev ($221.7 million) contract to produce Bulgaria’s new military surveillance radars.
The Balkan nation has been looking for a potential supplier of the new 3D radars to improve the protection of its airspace and NATO’s eastern flank.
Lockheed Martin from the US, Leonardo from Italy, Elta from Israel, and Indra from Spain are all bidding for the project.
France’s Thales is also offering its solutions to the Bulgarian defense ministry.
According to Bulgarian Air Force Chief of Staff Colonel Dimitar Georgiev, the country is expected to receive its new radar in 2025 if a contract is signed later this year.
No Adequate Radar
Bulgarian military experts have been warning for several years that the army does not have military-grade radars that can properly monitor its territories.
The service reportedly relies on advanced civil aviation radars, but they do not cover the entire territory of the country.
Without military radars, the Bulgarian Air Force will also not be able to fully utilize its new F-16 fighter aircraft.
Although the proposals have not been disclosed, it is worth noting that Lockheed Martin produces the TPS-77 multi-mission, ground-based radar that can perform medium to long range surveillance.
Thales is the developer of the Ground Observer family of radars for ground and coastal surveillance.