The country is working hard to modernise its armed forces, while at the same time coping with a relatively small defence budget to achieve this aspiration. The ongoing work that the country is performing vis-a-vis the incorporation of its armed forces fully into established NATO structures is resulting in a far more modern and battle-worthy army.
This includes making land forces formations available to support NATO operations around the world. Secondly, the report remarks on several initiatives that the government has embarked upon to streamline the size and geographical footprint of Bulgaria's armed forces.
This has included a realignment of the country's military bases. Thirdly, the report examines several key Bulgarian military procurement programmes. Arguably the most important of these being the air force's planned acquisition of new multirole combat aircraft.
BMI has made updated the information regarding the country's planned acquisition of Multi-Role Combat Aircraft since the last quarter, although beyond this, the country has not performed any additional major defence procurement or defence modernisation initiatives.
Our forecasts are as follows:
- Government defence expenditure will be US$776mn, a 2.9% increase on 2012 figures.
- Imports will continue to remain subdued following economic uncertainty across Europe, however, the country is planning to acquire new combat aircraft.