June 4, 2019
- U.S. law requires the executive branch to notify Congress of potential arms transfers to NATO allies that exceed $50 million. Bulgaria’s planned acquisition of eight F-16s falls in this category.
- Yesterday’s Congressional Notification was routine and we do not anticipate Congressional objections.
- Notifications are a matter of public record. It is important to note that the price listed in the formal Congressional Notification is not the final cost of the program.
- The Departments of State and Defense allow for a margin in all notifications in the event foreign partners expand the scope of the program beyond what was initially requested. This avoids the need to amend a Congressional Notification and reduces the time it takes to complete a foreign military sale.
- The Congressional Notification for the F-16 sale to Bulgaria lists the cost of the program at $1.6 billion—but this is not the final price. The program’s actual final cost will be based on final Bulgarian requirements.
- The Congressional Notification is but a single step in the case development phase of the Foreign Military Sales process. Once the notification process is complete, the Defense Department will present the Bulgarian government with the Letter of Offer and Acceptance. At that stage, final negotiations begin and the Bulgarian government may re-scope or re-define the requirements before arriving at the ultimate cost.