Modern equipment of the Bulgarian land forces

Modern equipment of the Bulgarian land forces

This is a list of some of the equipment currently in use by the Bulgarian land forces.



Total units of equipment, incl. those in reserve:

  • MBTs: 590
  • Armored Personnel Carriers: ~1250
  • IFVs: ~200
  • Armored cars: ~700
  • Anti-tank vehicles: 24
  • Towed artillery: 529
  • Self-propelled artillery: ~600
  • SAM launchers: 208
  • AA artillery: ~350

Small arms

AK-47 Type 3, produced in Bulgaria as AKK
A Bulgarian soldier with an ATGL-L / mod. RPG-7


  • Soviet Union Makarov PM 9x18 handgun (local production) (Military, National Police)
  • Germany SIG Pro SP 2022 9x19 handgun (Special Forces, Military Police)
  • Bulgaria Arcus-98DA 9x19 handgun (Special Forces)

Assault rifles

  • Bulgaria AR-M1 7.62x39 assault rifle (AK-47 derivative) by Arsenal JSCo Standard issue infantry rifle.
  • Bulgaria AR-M4SF 7.62x39 / 5.56x45 carbine rifle by Arsenal JSCo
  • Bulgaria AR-M12F 5.56x45 assault rifle by Arsenal JSCo (Special Forces)
  • Bulgaria AR-M9F 5.56x45 assault rifle by Arsenal JSCo (Special Forces)
  • Germany H&K HK416 5.56x45 assault rifle (Special Forces, Military Police)
  • Austria Steyr AUG 5.56x45 assault rifle (in limited use with the SOBT only)

Submachine guns

  • Germany H&K MP5A3 9x19 SMG (Special Forces, Military Police)
  • Germany H&K MP5SD6 9x19 SMG (Special Forces)
  • Germany H&K MP5K PDW 9x19 SMG (Special Forces)
  • Bulgaria Arsenal Shipka 9x19 SMG

Sniper rifles

  • Soviet Union Dragunov 7.62x54 sniper rifle (local production)
  • Germany H&K MSG90A1 7.62x51 sniper rifle (Special Forces)
  • Germany Blaser R93 Tactical sniper rifle (Special Forces)
  • France PGM Ultima Ratio 7.62x51 Tactical sniper rifle (Military Police)
  • United States Barrett M82 12.7x99 sniper rifle (SOBT)

Machine guns

  • Soviet Union RPK 7.62x39 LMG
  • Soviet Union PKM 7.62x54 universal machine gun (local production)
  • Bulgaria MG-M1 7.62x51 universal machine gun (PKM derivative by Arsenal JSCo)
  • Soviet Union NSV 12.7x108 heavy machine guns
  • United States M2 Browning 12.7x99 heavy machine guns

AT weapons


  • Bulgaria 60 mm M6-211
  • Bulgaria 81 mm M8
  • Soviet Union 82 mm M82
  • Soviet Union 120 mm 2S12 Sani
  • Bulgaria 120 mm 2S12 "Tundzha-Sani" self-propelled on MT-LB (356)

Other small arms

  • Belgium 18mm FN 303 less-lethal launcher (Military Police)
  • Soviet Union GP-25 Kastyor underbarrel grenade launcher (local production)
  • Bulgaria UBGL-M6 underbarrel grenade launcher by Arsenal JSCo
  • Bulgaria UBGL-M7 underbarrel grenade launcher by Arsenal JSCo
  • Bulgaria AGL-30 30x25 grenade launchers, AGS-17 derivate by Arsenal JSCo
  • United States 40x53 Mk 19 grenade launchers

Anti-tank guided missiles

  • Soviet Union AT-2 Swatter ATGMs
  • Bulgaria AT-3 Sagger ATGMs (200)
  • Bulgaria AT-4 Spigot ATGMs (222)
  • Bulgaria AT-5 Spandrel ATGMs (300+)
  • Soviet Union AT-6 Spiral ATGMs (500+)
  • Soviet Union AT-7 Saxhorn ATGMs (50+)
  • Soviet Union AT-10 Stabber ATGMs

Man-portable air defense systems

  • Bulgaria SA-7 Grail MANPADS
  • Bulgaria SA-14 Gremlin MANPADS
  • Bulgaria SA-16 Gimlet MANPADS
  • Bulgaria SA-18 Grouse MANPADS

Armoured vehicles

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
Armoured fighting vehicles
T-72M2  Soviet Union Main battle tank 160[1]
Locally upgraded version with C4I systems and reduced thermal signature; another 270 T-72M and T-72M1 in reserve
BMP-23/30  Bulgaria IFV ca. 50
Locally designed Infantry Fighting Vehicle with a 23-mm automatic cannon, 9K111 Fagot anti-tank guided missile launchers with a total of six missiles and an SA-7 Grail MANPADS
BMP-1P  Soviet Union IFV ca. 30
Bulgarian bmp-1.jpg
Soviet tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle with a 73-mm smoothbore gun
BTR-60PB-MD1  Bulgaria APC ca. 40
Bulgarian brt-60.jpg
Local production BTR-60 with a new engine, side doors and other improvements [additional non-modernized BTR-60PB in reserve];
MT-LB / MT-LBu  Bulgaria APC 250
Bulgarian mt-lb.jpg
Light multi-purpose vehicle; mostly used as an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC)
BRDM-2  Soviet Union Scout car 22
BRDM 2 TBiU 24 2.jpg
Armoured scout car
9P148 "Konkurs"  Soviet Union Anti-tank vehicle 24
BRDM-2 Anti-tank vehicle.jpg
Anti-tank vehicle based around the BRDM-2 with five AT-5 Spandrel missiles
Plasan Sand Cat  Israel Patrol vehicle 25[2]
Plasan SandCat.jpg
4x4 armoured patrol vehicle used by the Military Police service
M1117  United States Patrol vehicle 7
Bulgarian m1117.JPG
4x4 multi-purpose armoured patrol vehicle; 6 deployed in Afghanistan
HMMWV  United States Multi-purpose vehicle 52
Bulgarian M1114 HMMWV in Kabul.JPG
20 M1151A1, 30 M1025A2, 2 M1035A2 ambulances, some M998 and M1114 (up-armored) deployed in Afghanistan
Mercedes-Benz G-Class  Germany Armoured jeep 150-200
Bulgarian army Mercedes G-Class.jpg
4x4 armoured [G 280 CDi] and non-armoured [G 270 CDi] jeep; partially armed with locally produced PKM machine guns [more to be received]
TV-62M  Bulgaria ARV Unknown Armoured Recovery Vehicle based on a T-62 hull
Maritza  Bulgaria NBC vehicle Unknown Tracked NBC protection vehicle based on the MT-LBu

Artillery and air defense

An exact number of each type of weapon in service cannot be established; a total of 192 BM-21 Grad, 2S1 Gvozdika and D-20 are in service.

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
Artillery and air defense
MT-12  Soviet Union anti-tank gun 146
100-мм противотанковая пушка Т-12 Рапира (2).jpg
100-mm anti-tank gun, now used mostly as conventional HE artillery
D-20  Soviet Union Howitzer 150
Howitzer D-20.jpg
152-mm towed howitzer; principal heavy artillery piece of the Bulgarian Army
2S1 Gvozdika  Bulgaria Self-propelled howitzer >500 (many in storage)
Bulgarian 2S1 Gvozdika.jpg
122-mm self-propelled howitzer; produced locally as Karamfil
BM-21  Soviet Union MLRS >150
Bulgarian BM-21 GRAD.jpg
122-mm multiple-launch rocket system
SS-21 Scarab-A  Soviet Union Tactical ballistic missile 8
The only remaining ballistic missile system from the now-disbanded Rocket Forces; 8 TELs and 15 missiles with a 70 km range are in service
ZU-23-2  Soviet Union AA gun 128
ZU-23-2 in Saint Petersburg.jpg
Most ZU-23-2s in Bulgarian service are mounted on ZIL 131 trucks
S-60  Soviet Union AA gun 90
Heavier 57 mm AA gun
SA-2 Guideline  Soviet Union SAM system 18
SA-2 "Guideline".JPG
Oldest Surface-to-Air Missile system in Bulgarian service; scheduled to be phased out
SA-3 Goa  Soviet Union SAM system 30
SA-3 Las Palmas Airbase 2006.JPG
Medium-range SAM system; SA-3s were used to shoot down an F-117 Nighthawk and an F-16 fighter over Yugoslavia in 1999;[3] to be phased out
SA-5 Gammon  Soviet Union SAM system 20
Fixed strategic SAM system used to defend high-value targets
SA-6 Gainful  Soviet Union SAM system 20
Sa6 1.jpg
Highly mobile medium-range SAM system with 24 km range
SA-8 Gecko  Soviet Union SAM system 24
Bulgarian SA-8.jpg
Highly mobile short-range SAM system with 15 km range
SA-10 Grumble  Soviet Union SAM system 10
Bulgarian sa-10 launcher.jpg
Advanced SAM system used for strategic defense against all types of aircraft; has limited ABM capability
SA-13 Gopher  Soviet Union SAM system 20
Strela 10.jpg
Short-range battlefield SAM system with 5 km range

Recently retired equipment


See also

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