Bulgaria could terminate an upgrade deal with Elbit Systems after claiming the Israeli company has failed to meet its contractual obligations in modernising six Mil Mi-17 utility and 12 Mi-24D/V assault helicopters, writes Alexander Mladenov.

"We have sent a letter to Elbit warning them that if they prove unable to change things within three months, the contract is to be terminated unilaterally by us," says defence minister Veselin Bliznakov. Work on the programme's first Mi-17 had been scheduled for completion by mid-year, but Bliznakov said during June that the project had suffered a two-month delay.

The Bulgarian government last year failed in an attempt to terminate the €57.3 million ($73.6 million) deal with Elbit, which last week said: "We don't have any technical or other problems and the programme is on track."

Source: Flight International