Bulgarian Navy Receives First of Three Panther Helicopters


The Bulgarian Navy has formally received the first out of a total of three Panther helicopters in a highly troubled supply deal that Bulgarian Defense Ministry made with Eurocopter.

The first “Panther” was welcomed at a ceremony at the naval helicopter base “Chayka” near the Black Sea city of Varna by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Defense Minister Anyu Angelov, the commander-in-chief of the Bulgarian Navy Rear Admiral Plamen Manushev, Varna and Great Preslav’s Bishop Kiril, as well as representatives of the French Embassy and the supplier, Eurocopter.

“For the first time since I have been serving, the Bulgarian Navy is getting the best possible equipment in the world,” Read Admiral Manushev declared, thanking the PM and the Defense Minister for the funding they have allocated for the naval forces.

Borisov said the helicopter is an “important acquisition for the security of the Bulgarian external Schengen Area border” (even though it remains unclear when Bulgaria will technically be admitted to the Schengen Agreement).

Defense Minister Angelov stressed the multifunctional features of the Panther helicopters, and the fact that they can be used by various institutions and for various tasks such as seeking and rescue missions, sea border monitoring, humanitarian and anti-piracy operations, anti-terrorist actions, among others.

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Source: novinite, October 12, 2011; Image: pan