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Bulgarian Air Force conducts exercise in Black Sea with its NATO Allies.

| 2022

According to information published by NATO on August 19, 2022, the Bulgarian-led multinational live fly exercise Thracian Viper took place in the Black Sea region.

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Bulgarian Air Force conducts exercise in Black Sea with its NATO Allies Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 flying with Allies during Thracian Viper in the Black Sea.  (Picture source: NATO)

The Bulgarian Air Force operated side by side with Allied fighter aircraft from Canada, Greece, and Romania which operated from their respective home bases.

The Allied aircraft conducted combined and joint training in simulated defensive and offensive scenarios. Bulgarian Army air defence units employed to protect territory and infrastructure against air threats delivered the joint aspect to the training.

Bulgarian MiG-29s, Canadian CF-18s – currently based in Romania under NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission– Hellenic and Romanian F-16s conducted Composite Air Operations executing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

Scenarios became more complex during the course of the two-week exercise. This allowed participants to share valuable knowledge and improve interoperability.

The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a twin-engine fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. Developed by the Mikoyan design bureau as an air superiority fighter during the 1970s, the MiG-29, along with the larger Sukhoi Su-27, was developed to counter new U.S. fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. The MiG-29 entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1982.

While originally oriented towards combat against any enemy aircraft, many MiG-29s have been furnished as multirole fighters capable of performing a number of different operations, and are commonly outfitted to use a range of air-to-surface armaments and precision munitions.

The MiG-29 has been manufactured in several major variants, including the multirole Mikoyan MiG-29M and the navalised Mikoyan MiG-29K; the most advanced member of the family to date is the Mikoyan MiG-35.

Later models frequently feature improved engines, glass cockpits with HOTAS-compatible flight controls, modern radar and infrared search and track (IRST) sensors, and considerably increased fuel capacity; some aircraft have also been equipped for aerial refueling.

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