Bulgaria cancels $1.74 bln armoured vehicle tender

SOFIA, March 16 (Reuters) - Bulgaria’s defence ministry said it had cancelled a 1.46 billion euro ($1.74 billion) tender for 150 armoured vehicles because the two short-listed bidders exceeded the estimated budget.

The ministry said on Tuesday it has held meetings with U.S. firm General Dynamics and Finland’s Patria to seek ways to lower their bids, but found that this was not possible without significantly changing technical requirements.

“The defence ministry has sent letters to Patria and General Dynamics for the cancellation of the procedure for armoured vehicles,” it said in a statement.

Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov has already asked state arms company Terem to deliver a report on whether the Bulgarian arms companies could carry out the project in cooperation with foreign arms producers. ($1 = 0.8383 euros) (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Alexander Smith)