The Bulgarian Navy (Bulgarian: Военноморски сили на Република България, romanized: Voennomorski sili na Republika Balgariya, lit. 'Naval Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria') is the navy of the Republic of Bulgaria and forms part of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. It has been largely overlooked in the reforms that Bulgaria had to go through in order to comply with NATO standards, mostly because of the great expense involved and the fact that naval assaults are not considered to be a great concern for the country's security. That is why three of the four Romeo-class submarines (excluding Slava) are now docked and have been out of operation for some time. The last one was decommissioned in November 2011. Only the more modern frigates, corvettes and missile crafts are on active duty.
|Военноморски сили на Република България|
Voennomorski sili na Republika Balgariya
|Founded||13 January 1899 |
(122 years, 8 months)
|Branch||Bulgarian Armed Forces|
|Size||4,100 personnel (2009)|
|Part of||Ministry of Defence|
|Engagements||First Balkan War|
Second Balkan War
World War I
World War II
|Commander of the Navy||Rear Admiral Kyril Mikhailov|
|Coast guard ensign|
In order to meet some of the NATO requirements, the Bulgarian government purchased a Wielingen-class frigate from Belgium in 2005. BNS Wandelaar (F-912), built in 1977, was renamed BG Drazki. That same year the Bulgarian ship Smeli took part as a full NATO member for the first time in NATO OAE (Operation Active Endeavour). In 2006, following a decision of the Bulgarian National Assembly, Drazki deployed as part of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL), patrolling the territorial waters of Lebanon under German command. This was the first time the Bulgarian Navy took part in an international peacekeeping operation. The Bulgarian government purchased two more Wielingen-class frigates and one Tripartite-class minehunter in 2007.