Sunday, November 22, 2009
The proposed financing mechanism for Chile's armed forces would keep a current budget surplus, of perhaps $3 billion, in a contingency fund. The money could be used in case of conflict or to support Chile's peacekeeping missions, according to details given from the Defense Ministry. Meanwhile, the navy's new commander, Adm. Edmundo Gonzales, voiced concerns that the plan has no spending floor. If the country's economy expands, he reasons, more military resources would be needed to protect those assets. Also, he noted that if spending plans are authorized in four-year segments, it may be difficult to finance acquisitions with multiyear loans. Under the current funding mechanism, based on revenues from the state-owned copper company, a minimum of $100 million goes to each of three major branches.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
"Battlefield: Bad Company 2" is set in what publisher Electronic Arts calls Arica Harbor. A look at its preview videos leaves no doubt this is the same Chilean city of Arica, just south of the border with Peru. In this tactical shooter game, U.S. and Russian forces battle it out over desert and urban terrain with infantry, armor and air elements. Incidentally, the scenario is not much different than Western-style Chilean forces and Russian-style Peruvian army engaging in war. The game, being released next March, is getting positive reviews from gamers.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
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.