Bolivia is beefing up its armed forces, as an agreement to purchase military equipment from Argentina has already been outlined.
The two countries’ respective defense ministers held a bilateral meeting during the first week of September to further discuss the deal, initially put forth in July this year.
Proposing defense purchases
Argentine Defense Minister Agustin Rossi and his Bolivian counterpart Reimi Ferreira met in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba.
Included in the meeting were the two countries’ defense commissions, composed of civilian and military authorities, who closely studied the proposed terms of the agreement.
At the end of the day, the two inked a letter of intent encompassing three major purchases.
“We have signed a letter of intent with Defense Minister of Argentina. We will take a period of three months to see the viability of the projects,” Ferreira said in a statement.
According to Rossi, the first purchase is “linked to the interests of Bolivia to buy radar systems for military and commercial uses.”
Bolivia is reportedly interested in the portable 3D Band L radar and secondary radar units for air traffic control, all of which were included in Argentina’s presentation on defense cooperation.
On the radar
The radar acquisition project will involve the ministries of defense and government, Bolivia’s Armed Forces, and INVAP, a radar manufacturer in Argentina. Rossi added that they will design a system of radar installation for Bolivia.
Bolivia also wants to purchase trainer planes: the IA-63 Pampa III model in particular.
The country will also call for the modernization of Light Automatic Rifles or FAL.
Bolivia’s rocket missiles will also have design fabrications and a CP30 127 mm rocket launcher system will be added to its arsenal.
“Surely, in terms of the budget we’ll have, we’ll be able to reach some agreements,” Ferreira said.
Rossi made it clear that the Argentine delegation did not travel to Bolivia with commercial interests, but to work on the idea of a strategic alliance between Argentina and Bolivia in the defense area.
Training and technology
The joint cooperation includes knowledge exchange, which will see Argentina help in training Bolivia’s Armed Forces, and aid technology transfer.
The two defense ministers agreed that advancements in science and technology will give South America a greater degree of freedom and sovereignty that will enforce the region’s independence in terms of defense.
Bolivian President Evo Morales has already approved the terms of the agreement in a meeting with Rossi.
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