The Bulgarian Army has lost BGN 76 M in default payments because of its failure to meet its obligations under contracts with helicopter producer Eurocopter.
Bulgaria’s Defense Minister Anyu Angelov announced Wednesday that the Bulgarian Army may lose as much as EUR 240 if it fails to reach a settlement with Eurocopter.
In 2005, the Bulgarian government signed a EUR 383 M deal with Eurocopter for the purchase of 12 Cougar helicopters for the Bulgarian Air Forces and 6 Panther helicopters for the Bulgarian Navy.
Under the contract, if the Bulgarian state fails to pay the entire due sum, the bank servicing the deal can withdraw 60% of the value of each of the helicopters whose delivery has not been paid for from the EUR 240 M deposit made by the Bulgarian government.
By the end of 2008, Bulgaria received 9 of the 12 Cougar helicopters and paid EUR 184 M. Last year it received two more of the helicopters but managed to pay only 40% of their value. The 12th Cougar helicopter was produced by Eurocopter but has not been delivered to Bulgaria, which has not paid any money for it.
As a result of the failure of the Bulgarian Defense Ministry to meet its obligations under the contract, in 2009, the French bank Societe General withdrew about BGN 76 M from the deposit.
According to Minister Angelov, the Bulgarian Army has lost this money which has to be subtracted from the budget of the Defense Ministry for 2010 thus threatening the sustenance of the armed forces.