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In November 2018, a contract was signed for major overhaul of fourteen Su-25s from the Bulgarski Voenno Vzdushnu Sili (BVVS, Bulgarian Air Force) by the 558th Aviation Repair Plant (ARP) in Baranovichy (Belarus). The overhaul contract is worth USD 85,5 million (73,6 million Euro) excluding VAT.
Between December 2018 and February 2019, financial difficulties (due to bank transfers and sanctions against Belarus) caused a delay in the start of the overhaul programme. In June 2019, an export license became a hitch in the start, followed by an informal EU investigation of the multi-million dollar contract early August 2019.
On 24 August 2019, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who surprisingly visited Bezmer air base (Bulgaria), also dealt with the aforementioned cases. Borisov said “I expect the competent authorities to prepare the aircraft for transport in the short term so the repair could begin. This will allow for the restoration of the airworthiness of the Su-25s. These aircraft will retain the Bulgarian defense capabilities acquired in the period up to the purchase of the new type of combat aircraft.”
Eventually, on 28 August 2019, the first Su-25 departed Bezmer towards Baranovichy to start the major overhaul. According to news agency Aero, each aircraft should be overhauled within eleven months and every forty days for the upcoming period, a Su-25 should leave Bulgaria towards Belarus. According to several sources the first aircraft that left Bezemer is Su-25UBK 002 which departed in a disassembled condition onboard Il-76TD (serial EW-412TH).
After the major overhaul the Su-25s should be airworthy till 2027-2028
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