Bulgarian People’s Army (BKA)
The Bulgarian Army is organized along Soviet lines and tasked with operating in the Southern Group of Forces (SGF). The army is highly trained and has some very good equipment but consists largely of conscript forces. The primary task of the BKA is to field a FRONT (1st Balkan) of three Combined Arms Armies (CAA), then take Soviet and a Romanian CAAs under command and expel any NATO forces from its assigned area.
The three CAAs consisted of a mix of Motor Rifle Divisions (MRD), Tank Brigades TB) and supporting arms, these formations, like their Soviet equivalent have varying states of readiness:
Category A-divisions which have 80% or more of their full strength
Category B-those with between 30% and 50%
Category C-those with between 5% and 10%
Category A formations could be ready to move in the matter of a few hours or less, while Category B would be ready in about 72 hours and Category C would take about 60 days.
Four of the Category A MRDs were equipped along standard Soviet lines with a mix of equipment. Details of the standard structure can be found here. Two of the Category A (5th & 11th in 2 CAA) and the four Category C Divisions are not standard, they have 4x Motor Rifle Regiments (MRR) as opposed to the normal three, but no Tank Regiment (TR). The Category C Divisions have older equipment and 20th MRD is primarily a training organization with Rear Area Security (RAS) duties in wartime.
Four of the five TBs also followed the standard organization; however, 9th TB was stationed near the capital and was organized quite differently. The 9th TB has 3x Tank Bns each of 49 tanks (as opposed to standard tank Bns with 31) plus 2x Infantry Bns which each have 10 tanks and an independent Tank Coy of 13 – totaling 182 tanks or twice the number of a standard TB.
The Airborne Bde does not have BMDs but is on very high readiness. The Naval Infantry Bn is largely used for garrisoning naval bases.
Equipment is mixed and depends on the division or brigade in question. The table below outlines the wide variety of equipment available and since nothing is ever thrown away, if it is not in use it’s in reserve or storage.
|MBT||T-72||T-72A/AK||100||Improvement on the base model with laser range finder(LRF) and improved Fire Control System (FCS)|
|T-72B||90?||Better protection, FCS & LRF. New gun and ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile)|
|T-72M1||240||Czech version of the T-72A for export|
|T-62||T-62MD||250||Improved armor, up to 200 others converted to support vehicles or bunkers. In reserve.|
|T-54/55||T-54||900||Soviet built with some Romanian upgraded versions|
|T-34||T-34/85||~400||All in storage|
|Bunkers||140||Some with 100mm T-62 gun turrets|
|PT-76||250||Amphibious tanks, mostly in reserve|
|BMP-23D||?||Improved with ATGM|
|MTLB||Various||1100||Including many specialist vehicles|
|120mm||2S12||356||On MTLB chassis, locally produced|
|RM-51||24||Czech version of BM-13|
|SA-13||Gopher||20||500 missiles locally produced|
|MANPADs||SA-7||Grail||?||6700 missiles locally produced|
|IRBMs||SS-21||Scarab-A||18||28 HE Warheads|
|Scarab-B||?||8 Cluster munitions Warheads|
More detail can be found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/184374791/The-Bulgarian-Military
This Wiki has some good detail as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structure_of_the_Bulgarian_People%27s_Army_1989#1st_Army