Bulgarian Navy

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Bulgarian Navy
Военноморски сили на Република България
Voennomorski sili na Republika Balgariya
Naval Ensign of Bulgaria.svg
Ensign of the Bulgarian Navy
Active 13 January 1899–present
Country  Bulgaria
Branch Bulgarian Armed Forces
Type Navy
Size 4,100 personnel (2009)
Part of Ministry of Defence
Garrison/HQ Varna
Atiya
Anniversaries 9 August
Engagements First Balkan War
Second Balkan War
World War I
World War II
Commanders
Current
commander
Rear Admiral Rumen Nikolov
Insignia
Naval Ensign Naval Ensign of Bulgaria.svg
Naval Jack Naval Jack of Bulgaria.svg
Coastguard Ensign Coastguard Ensign of Bulgaria.svg

The Bulgarian Navy (Bulgarian: Военноморски сили на Република България, Voennomorski sili na Republika Balgariya) is the navy of the Republic of Bulgaria and forms part of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. It has been largely overlooked in the reforms that Bulgaria had to go through in order to comply with NATO standards, mostly because of the great expense involved and the fact that naval assaults are not considered to be a great concern for the country's security.[citation needed] That is why three of the four Romeo-class submarines (excluding Slava) are now docked and have been out of operation for some time. The last one was decommissioned in November 2011.[1] Only the more modern frigates, corvettes and missile crafts are on active duty.

In order to meet some of the NATO requirements, the Bulgarian government purchased a Wielingen-class frigate from Belgium in 2005. BNS Wandelaar (F-912), built in 1977, was renamed BG Drazki. That same year the Bulgarian ship Smeli took part as a full NATO member for the first time in NATO OAE (Operation Active Endeavour). In 2006, following a decision of the Bulgarian National Assembly, Drazki deployed as part of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL), patrolling the territorial waters of Lebanon under German command. This was the first time the Bulgarian Navy took part in an international peacekeeping operation. The Bulgarian government purchased two Wielingen-class frigates and one Tripartite-class minehunter in 2007.

The Bulgarian Navy is centred in two main bases. One is near the city of Varna. The other is Atiya Naval Base, near the city of Burgas.

Structure[edit]

Project 1241.2E (Pauk-class) corvette Reshitelni
The Bulgarian fleet in Varna
The Wielingen-class frigate ex-Westdiep, now BGS Gordi
  • Naval Forces Command, Varna
    • Naval Forces Staff
    • Naval Operations Center
    • Coastal Fundamental System for CIS Support
    • Coastal Information Detachment
    • Independent Electronic Surveillance Detachment
    • Command, Control and Communications Units
    • Naval Base Command
      • Naval Base Staff
      • Naval Base Location Varna
      • Naval Base Location Atiya
      • Repair and Maintenance Center
      • Armament and Equipment Storage
      • Ship Divisions
        • 1st Patrol Ships Division
        • 3rd Mine Counter-Measure Division
        • 4th Patrol Ships Division
        • 6th Mine Counter-Measure Division
        • 18th Support Ships Division
        • 96th Support Ships Division
      • 2nd Coastal Anti-Ship Missile and Artillery Battalion
    • Independent Naval Helicopter Air Base "Chayka"
    • 63rd Naval Special Forces Reconnaissance Detachment "Black Sea Sharks"
    • Hydrographical Service of the Naval Forces
    • Equipment Storage Base of the Naval Forces
    • Military Police Company of the Naval Forces Command

A "Division" is the equivalent of land forces battalion or air force squadron as the Bulgarian Navy follows the Russian naval tradition, according to which an "Operational Squadron" or "Оперативная эскадра" is a temporary formation, an equivalent of a land forces division and in modern times a "Squadron" of the Russian Navy is an equivalent of a land forces corps.

According to the reform plans envisioned in the White Paper on Defence 2010, the two naval bases would be merged into one with two base facilities in Varna and Burgas. The manpower of the Navy would account to about 3,400 seamen. The ordered Eurocopter AS565 MB Panther helicopters were reduced from 6 to 3 units. Between 2011 and 2020 the naval "Longterm Investment Plan" should come into action, providing the sea arm of the Bulgarian military with modernised ships and new equipment.

Ships[edit]

The Bulgarian Navy will modernise three of its Wielingen-class frigates in the future. The frigates will be equipped with landing pads, allowing helicopters to land and take off from the ships' decks.[2] The list does not include vessels assigned to the border police.

Name Type Class Origin Details
1st Patrol Ships Division (Naval Base Location Varna)
Reshitelni (13) (Решителни - Decisive) ASW Corvette Pauk  Soviet Union [3]
Bodri (14) (Бодри - Brisk) ASW Corvette Pauk  Soviet Union [3]
Smeli (11) (Смели - Brave) Frigate Koni  Soviet Union [4]
3rd Mine Counter-Measure Division (Naval Base Location Varna)
Tsibar (32) (Цибър) Minehunter Tripartite  Belgium ex-Belgian Myosotis[5]
Hull numbers 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56 Minesweeper Olya  Soviet Union [6]
Iskar (31) (Искър) Minesweeper Vanya  Soviet Union [7]
Dobrotich (33) (Добротич) Minesweeper Vanya  Soviet Union [7]
Captain-lieutenant Kiril Minkov (34) Minesweeper Vanya  Soviet Union [7]
Captain 1st rank Dimitar Paskalev (36) Minesweeper Vanya  Soviet Union [7]
4th Patrol Ships Division (Naval Base Location Atiya)
Drazki (41) (Дръзки - Daring) Frigate Wielingen  Belgium ex-Belgian frigate Wandelaar[8]
Verni (42) (Верни - Loyal) Frigate Wielingen  Belgium ex-Belgian frigate Wielingen[8]
Gordi (43) (Горди - Proud) Frigate Wielingen  Belgium ex-Belgian frigate Westdiep[8]
Malniya (101) (Мълния - Lightning) Corvette Tarantul  Soviet Union [9]
6th Mine Counter-Measure Division (Naval Base Location Atiya)
Briz (61) (Бриз - Sea breeze) Minesweeper Sonya  Soviet Union [10]
Shkval (62) (Шквал - Squall) Minesweeper Sonya  Soviet Union [10]
Priboi (63) (Прибой - Breaking wave) Minesweeper Sonya  Soviet Union [10]
Hull numbers 65, 66, 67, 68 Minesweeper Yevgenya  Soviet Union [11]
18th Support Ships Division (Naval Base Location Varna)
Captain 1st rank Dimitar Dobrev (206) Degaussing ship Type 1799 degaussing ship  Poland [12]
Hull numbers 121, 215, 216 Cutter Project 160 multi-purpose cutter  Bulgaria [13]
Hull number 223 Cutter Project 245 cutter  Bulgaria [14]
Hull number 231 Cutter Project 612 survey cutter  Bulgaria [15]
Balchik (203) (Балчик) Tanker Project 650 tanker  Bulgaria [16]
Proteo (224) (Протео) Rescue vessel  Italy ex-Italian А 5310 Proteo[17][18]
Hull number 211 Tugboat  Bulgaria [19]
96th Support Ships Division (Naval Base Location Atiya)
Antares (301) (Антарес) Landing ship Polnocny  Poland [20]
Hull numbers 312, 313 Cutter Project 160 multi-purpose cutter  Bulgaria [13]
Hull number 323 Cutter Project 245 cutter  Bulgaria [14]
Hull number 331 Cutter Project 612 survey cutter  Bulgaria [15]
Akin (303) (Акин) Tanker Project 650 tanker  Bulgaria [16]
Aheloy (321) (Ахелой) Fireboat Project 250 fireboat  Bulgaria [21]
Hull number 410 Tugboat  Bulgaria [19]
Naval academy "N.Y. Vaptsarov" (Naval Base Location Varna)
Hull number 421 Training vessel  Bulgaria [22]
Bulgarian Eurocopter AS565 Panther in Paris Air Show

Aircraft[edit]

3 Eurocopter AS565 Panther (6 originally ordered, 3 later canceled)

3 Mil Mi-14 (plans for modernisation but currently not in flying condition)

Equipment[edit]

Type Origin Details
Exocet  France anti-ship missiles
P-15MC Termit  Soviet Union anti-ship missiles
RIM-7 Sea Sparrow  United States surface-to-air missiles
SA-N-4  Soviet Union surface-to-air missiles
SA-N-5  Soviet Union surface-to-air missiles

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bulgarian Navy Discards Submarine Force". defencegreece.com. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bulgarian navy faces trimming, modernisation - Defence Minister". The Sofia Echo. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Противолодочни кораби проект 1241.2Э "Молния-2"". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  4. ^ "Стражеви кораб проект 1159 /Смели/". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  5. ^ "Минен ловец тип “Tripartite”". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  6. ^ "Миночистачни катери проект 1259.2 “Малахит”". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  7. ^ a b c d "Базови тралщици проект 257Д и 257ДМЭ". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  8. ^ a b c "Фрегата тип E-71 “Wielingen”". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  9. ^ "Голям ракетен катер проект 1241.1Т “Молния-1”". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  10. ^ a b c "Базови тралщици проект 1265 “Яхонт”". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  11. ^ "Базови тралщици проект 1258Э “Корунд”". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  12. ^ "Кораб за размагнитване проект 1799". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  13. ^ a b "Многоцелеви моторни катери проект 160". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  14. ^ a b "Водолазни катери проект 245". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  15. ^ a b "Хидрографски катери проект 612". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  16. ^ a b "Танкери-бункеровчици проект 650". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  17. ^ "Спасителен кораб “Протео”". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  18. ^ "Спасителен кораб "Протео"". Pan.bg. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  19. ^ a b "История на създаването". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  20. ^ "Среден десантен кораб проект 770Е". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  21. ^ "Противопожарен кораб проект 250". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)
  22. ^ "Учебен кораб 421". vimpel.boinaslava.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  (Bulgarian)