September 1, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin will present an F-16 cockpit demonstrator during the Fifth International Aviation Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The show will be officially opened on September 6, 2005.
Two F-16s, which have seen actual combat, will be shown for the first time in Bulgaria.
Lockheed would like to offer the F-16C/D Block 50/52 configuration to Bulgaria, the same version that is now being produced for Chile
Lockheed Martin stresses that Bulgaria's neighbors, Greece
, and Poland have already chosen the F-16 which comes with the full support of the United States Air Force.
Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Sweden's Gripen are expected to bid in a tender to replace Bulgaria's MiG-29s following the failure of the fleet upgrade a year ago.
In 2001 Bulgaria scrapped plans to replace some of its Russian-made military aircraft with U.S. F-16 jet fighters. They could only afford used planes which could require extensive and costly repairs. On top of that, they require different navigation and auxiliary equipment.