SOFIA, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Bulgaria's defence ministry commission will recommend the government starts talks with the United States to acquire F-16 war planes to improve its compliance with NATO standards, the defence minister said on Friday.
The United States, Sweden and Italy have filed bids to supply Bulgaria with eight fighter jets aimed at replacing its ageing Soviet-designed MiG-29s, in a tender estimated at 1.8 billion levs ($1.05 billion).
"If the government agrees with the report's recommendation, the parliament will have to approve it and talks with the United States will start," Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov told a news conference.
The government is expected to decide how to proceed next month. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova and Angel Krasimirov)