The Bulgarian Air Force has plans to sell half of its Soviet-made helicopters to finance the modernisation of the remaining aircraft, Defence Minister Anyu Angelov has said.

The funds raised from selling six Mil Mi-17s and six Mil Mi-24s will be used to renovate the remaining six Mi-17 and six Mi-24.

The $10.12m fund by the Nato security iInvestment programme will be used to complete the modernisation of its Graf Ignatievo air base.

The command posts will be connected to the Nato airborne warning and control system (AWACS), he added.

The Bulgarian air force currently has two Eurocopter AS532 Cougars and three Eurocopter AS565 Panthers, according to Xinhua.