Bulgaria’s Defense

Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004. General military service was abolished in 2008. The total personnel force for Bulgaria’s armed forces is 31,300 active personnel, with a reserve of 3,000 personnel (2018, IISS).


The army has a workforce of 16,300 active personnel. Materials include 90 tanks of a T-72, 160 armored vehicles, 120 armored personnel carriers, 24 armored fighters, and 48 self-propelled artillery. In addition, the Army has short-range ballistic and conventional warheads, medium-heavy artillery, short-range anti-aircraft missiles and anti-aircraft artillery.

Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004

Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004. Here are Bulgarian soldiers on exercise in Germany in 2014.

Air Force

The Air Force has a workforce of 6700 active personnel. Material comprising 15 fighters of a MiG-29, one reconnaissance seven transport aircraft, 12 trainers, and 29 helicopters, six combat helicopters of the type Mi-24. In addition, the Air Force has long range air defense missiles.

The Navy

The Navy has a workforce of 3450 active personnel. The fleet includes four frigates, three patrol vessels, six minesweepers, one landings vessel, and eight logistics and auxiliary vessels. In addition, the Navy has two helicopters.

International operations

Bulgaria participated in 2018, among others in the NATO operation in Afghanistan ( Operation Resolute Support ) with 320 personnel, and in Serbia ( KFOR ) with 23 personnel. In addition, in the EU operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) with 11 personnel, and in the OSCE operation in Ukraine with 43 personnel.