Bulgaria will next month select a contractor to bring at least 36 Mil Mi-17 utility and Mi-24 assault helicopters up to NATO standards, says defence minister Nikolai Svinarov.

BAE Systems of the UK is competing with Denel of South Africa to meet the $200 million requirement, along with teams comprising Elbit Systems and Lockheed Martin, and Israel Aircraft Industries and EADS.

The contenders hope that success could lead to follow-on deals to modernise another 106 aircraft for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Source: Flight International