The Acquisition of New Navy Ships – Avoiding Another Capability Fiasco

Thursday, 9 November 2017




Program “National and International Security”

at the Atlantic Council of Bulgaria

on the implementation of the priority investment project of

acquisition of multipurpose modular Navy patrol vessels

08.11.2017 г.


The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria is expressing its concern about the lack of a comprehensive and structured approach with regard to the acquisition of new Navy combat ships. This situation is threatening to vitiate the procurement process. This is taking place at a time when the public interest is consumed by the scandals around the project of acquisition of a new type of fighter aircraft for the Air Force.

The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria insists on:

  • Avoiding the selection of a main supplier contractor (system integrator), which does not have an established in practice history of proven capacity to implement this highly expensive project that is of key importance to the future of the Bulgarian Armed Forces;
  • Examining the reasons that led to the situation of having only one candidate to procure two new Navy combat ships, the estimated contract value of which is at least BGN 820 million;
  • Establishing conditions allowing the participation in this significant acquisition project of companies from NATO and EU member states that have a confirmed background of achieved successes, and the carrying out a real transfer of technology to the Bulgarian defense industry;
  • Making use of all the opportunities to implement the project jointly with our allies, including through all the available EU and NATO mechanisms and agencies.
  • Restarting as soon as possible the implementation procedure of the project in conformity with all the above stated requirements, in order to prevent possible failure at a late stage.

The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria emphasizes that the main goal of every responsible policy, aimed at the development of the Bulgarian defense industry, is its real integration into the European Defense Technological and Industrial Base. The prospect for Bulgaria to participate in the development of high technologies in Europe is critically dependent on establishing cooperation with leading European companies as well as on the widest possible use of the opportunities for industrial cooperation, research and technology and joint acquisition of defense capabilities within the NATO and EU framework.

The irregularities in the management of the main investment projects committed until now are not isolated cases, but represent symptoms of a deep systemic problem. The build-up of modern Bulgarian Armed Forces requires that all the weaknesses identified thus far be overcome by way of putting into practice a comprehensive new system for managing the development of our defense system.

The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria continues to insist on the adoption and implementation of a comprehensive rearmament program of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, which will transform them into a modern defense organization, integrated with the Armed Forces of our NATO and EU allies.



Program “National and International Security”


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