Daimler-Benz Aerospace (Dasa) is in discussions with Bulgaria to provide an upgrade for 22 MiG-29 Fulcrums through its MiG Aircraft Production Support (MAPS) joint venture with MAPO of Russia.

The upgrade includes bringing the cockpit avionics up to NATO standards, and possibly improving the maintenance procedures for the engines, at a reported price of DM2 million ($3.6 million) per aircraft. The avionics upgrade would be similar to that carried out for German air force MiG-29s which were inherited from the former East German air force, including the installation of a new identification friend-or-foe transponder, according to Dasa.

The company says that technical details and schedules have yet to be defined, and that no contract is expected before the end of 1998.

The upgrade reportedly has strong backing from German defence minister Volker Rühe, who is pushing for the further eastward expansion of NATO.

Source: Flight International