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Bulgaria - Navy

The Navy guarantees the sovereignty and defends the interests of the Republic of Bulgaria in its sea space, and in combination with the other services of the Armed Forces ensures the security and territorial integrity of the country. This is done within the collective security and defence system, by maintaining the capabilities needed to participate in the execution of Armed Forces missions and tasks. Outside national territory it partakes in collective defence actions with a specified force anti-terrorist operations, patrolling of sea regions, embargo operations, escorting exceptionally valuable ships and cargos, and mine-clearing operations. The Navy executes constant surveillance and reporting on sea space conditions, control of naval navigation, and defence of naval communications and the economy at sea.

The Navy maintains a state of constant readiness, leads the preparations and executes tasks: to aid the state and local authorities in preparing, supporting and protecting the population, the rural economy and national territory; to respond to non-military crises and to overcome related consequences; to contribute to the defence of key strategic sites and sea infrastructure; to fight organised crime and human , drugs and weapons trafficking; to participate in the search & rescue of people at sea and in humanitarian and evacuation operations. The Navy maintains capabilities for planning and participation in independent and joint operations.

Functionally, the Navy is divided into Deployment Forces and Territorial Forces:

  • Deployment forces - formations with a high and low degree of readiness, capable of conducting the whole spectrum of NATO missions on the territory of the Alliance or outside it in the sense of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, or in response to crises of a military or non-military nature. The Deployment Forces of the Navy are fully manned and equipped with the necessary arms and equipment.
  • Territorial Forces formations with a high and low degree of readiness capable of fulfilling operations related to the protection of the territorial integrity (independently and/or in the system of collective security and defence), the maritime sovereignty of the country with integrated systems in NATOs shared system that guarantee contribution to the national security in peacetime and counteraction against potential asymmetric threats.
Organizationally, the Navy consists of: Navy Training and Preparation Headquarters; two military naval bases Varna and Bourgas, and units for combat support and combat provision. In recent years, the Navy has changed structurally in accordance with the modern standards and the necessity of its integration with the European and Euro-Atlantic security structures. The Navy day is the second Sunday of August, which is as well the last day of the traditional National Week of the Sea.

  • Naval Command
  • A Helicopters Naval Base
  • Spec. Recon. Squad
  • Naval Electronic Warfare and Recon. Squad
  • Maritime Intelligence Squad
  • A Military Police company.
  • Combat Support Units
  • Support formations
  • Maritime CIS support system
  • Hydrographical Survey Service
  • Naval Operational Centre
  • Technological property storage facilities;
  • A military band;
  • Naval Base consisting of: Base personnel; two base stations for vessel squads and equipment; a repairs station and a warehouse for weapons and equipment; ship squadrons; coastal missile and artillery squadron and CIS units.

The Navys structure by 2010 was comprised of a headquarters, two naval bases (Varna and Burgas) and the headquarters support units. The future organisational structure of the Navy by 2014 would include a commander and headquarters, one naval base with two stations (Varna and Burgas), for basing and formations, directly subordinate to the commander.

The HQ element of the naval component plans and carries out control of forces in naval navigation-control operations, the defence of sea territory and the states coast, the protection of naval communications and sea economy, the patrolling and escorting at sea, humanitarian, evacuation, rescue and mine-clearing operations, protection of strategic sites and critical maritime infrastructure, and operations to protect population affected by natural disasters. The HQ of the naval component, depending on the joint operations nature (e.g. when the main operation zone is not at sea) should be able to function as a remote control post, by presenting naval use-of-force options to the commander of the joint operation. It consequently participates in their control.

Bulgaria - Navy Modernization

The three 205U missile boats were to be removed from operational readiness by 31/12/2012, along with the acquisition of an anti-ship missile complex for the first E-71 frigate. The infrastructure facilities of the Navy are stationed in 40 military areas: 20 barracks, 6 storages, 2 ports and 12 other service buildings. The total number of buildings (of different types and for different purposes) is 839.

Bulgaria planned to acquire two multi-purpose patrol ships with modular design for its Navy. The project will be implemented over five years, the Defence Ministry said without giving a timeframe. The project to acquire two multi-purpose patrol ships with modular design for the Bulgarian Naval Force will cost BGN 820 M (EUR 419 M). The procurement cost, which comprises armaments, equipment and communication systems for the ships, could be one-third lower if the vessels were built in Bulgaria, Nenchev said during a visit to the Black Sea city of Varna on 31 March 2016, according to a statement of the Defence Ministry. The project is part of a EUR 1.24 B defence procurement package for the Bulgarian Air Force and Navy approved by the government on 30 March 2016.

The project will be submitted to Parliament and the lawmakers were expected to approve it by the end of May 2015, Nenchev added. Preliminary talks had already been held with EU and NATO member states about potential acquisition of patrol ships, according to the statement. Bulgaria has a maritime border of about 400 km in the Black Sea which is also part of the European Unions external border.

The two corvettes (called "patrol ships" will have to carry anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile weapons, and must be built in Bulgaria. For their purchase, it was planned to allocate 820 million levs (about 410 million euros), including 114 million leva in 2016, 171 million leva in 2017 and 2018, 97 million leva in 2019, 147 million leva in 2020 year, 90 million leva - in 2021 and 30 million leva - in 2022.

The program for building corvettes in Bulgaria has already acquired a touch of scandal, as Krasimir Karakachanov, chairman of the ruling coalition of the parliamentary group Patriotic Front, accused government circles of lobbying for the interests of a certain Bulgarian shipbuilding company, which ostensibly should be given an order for construction under this program. According to unofficial reports, this is the well-known shipbuilding and ship-repair factory "Dolphin" (Varna), which, in particular, built warships for Equatorial Guinea on Ukrainian projects.

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