Bulgaria An 30 3 640Bulgarian Air Force An-30 finally gets major overhaul

Early 2019, the Bulgarian minister of defence, Krassimir Karakachanov, launched a tender for major overhaul on the Bulgarski Voenno Vzdushni Sili (BVVS, Bulgarian Air Force) Antonov An-30. A few months later, this tender was suspended due to errors like a wrong internet address which did not link to the tender documentation and a lack of specification of which currency was involved, Bulgarian Levs or Euros.

In October 2019, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence announced it has signed a contract, valued at 3,2 million Euro (6,2 million Lev), with Ukrainan company Ukrinmash for ensuring the airworthiness of the An-30. Ukrinmash will use it's local plant 410 CA and Bulgaria’s Terem Holding for the needed work.

On 19 January 2021, the An-30, serial 055 (construction number 0802) made it’s first flight after years of storage at Sofia/Vrazhdebna (Bulgaria). The NATO reporting name CLANK was flown by a Ukrainian crew and the aircraft is supposed to be ferried to Ukraine on 20 January 2021.

The An-30 was delivered to the BVVS in February 1988 and placed into storage somewhere in 2010. After two years of storage, the aircraft became operational again for just a short period, after which it was again placed in storage in 2015. The An-30, the only aerial cartography aircraft within the BVVS, is used for Open Skies missions and for supporting operations. The aircraft is operated by the 16 Transportna Aviacionna Basa (16.TrAB), which is based at Sofia/Vrazhdebna.

Photos: Bulgarian Air Force

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