On September 1, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency(DSCA) of the US State Department informed the US Congress of its decision to approve a potential Foreign Military Sale(FMS) of Stryker vehicles and accompanying equipment to the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The potential value of this sale is US$1.5 billion. This purchase will be the first supplying of US military equipment to Bulgaria which had previously relied in the Soviet Union/Russia.
The Government of the Republic of Bulgaria request is for one hundred eighty-three (183) Stryker Family of Vehicles. The request consist of:
- Ninety (90) XM1296 Infantry Carrier Vehicles – Dragoon (ICVD) with the 30mm autocannon remote turret;
- Seventeen (17) M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) with the CROWS Common Remote OPertated Weapon Station with .50 machine gun RWS;
- Nine (9) M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicles (ESV);
- Thirty-three (33) M1130 Command Vehicles (CV);
- Twenty-four (24) M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicles (MEV);
- and ten (10) M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicles (NBCRV).
In addition; the request includes five (5) Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) Light Equipment Transports (LET); five (5) Modular Catastrophic Recovery Systems (MCRS); two (2) M1120A4 HEMTT Load Handling Systems; and five (5) M984A4 Wrecker HEMTTs.
Weapons and other supporting systems for the vehicles include:
- One hundred seven (107) M240 Coaxial 7.62mm machine guns,
- M-153A4 Common Remote Operated Weapons Stations (CROWS);
- Forward Repair Systems (FRS);
- M2A1 .50 caliber machine guns;
- M6 smoke grenade launchers;
- Harris radios;
- AN/VAS-5 Driver’s Vision Enhancer (DVE);
- Communications equipment;
- RS6 (LW30) Remote Weapon Systems;
- TACFLIR 280 HDEP systems;
- Ranger R20SS Radar;
- ROVER6Si transceivers;
- and spare parts.
The contract will be executed by General Dynamics Land Systems with work being accomplished at Anniston Alabama. It will also provide in-country training, field service representatives plus manuals, tools and support equipment and logistics support.
The US Government statement indicates the proposed sale will improve Bulgaria’s rapid infantry deployment and force projection capability. “Bulgaria will use this enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats. Bulgaria will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and services into its armed forces.”
Final details of the proposed contract will be now worked out. When finalized the anticipated delivery schedule will be determined.
In addition to its fielding by the US Army the Stryker is in service with Thailand (130 vehicles), is being provided to North Macedonia (54), and have been delivered and are in combat use with Ukraine (189 vehicles).
by Stephen W. Miller