Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chile Buys American for Air Defense

Chile is seeking to purchase U.S.-made Avenger missile systems and Sentinel radars to upgrade its air defense. The six radar systems, capable of tracking targets out to 75 km, would cost $65 million, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Three dozen Humvee-mounted Avenger systems with 390 Stinger missiles are also being sought, for an additional $455 million. A separate deal seeks 100 AMRAAM beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles for Chile's F-16 fighter jets. That one rings up for $145 million. All contracts would include training, maintenance and related costs. Defense Minister Francisco Vidal, however, said Chile is likely to purchase smaller quantities of the weapons than the DSCA announced. Stinger missiles have a maximum range of 8 km. Combined with the new Gepard artillery systems, the new acquisitions would give Chile a formidable short-range defense capability. Vidal said the new equipment replaces obsolete air-defense weapons. The Sentinel system provides 3-D surveillance of objects as small as UAVs.

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