Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chile Sets Sights on New UAVs, Ships, Radar

The commander in chief of Chile's Army visited Israel to get a first-hand look at unmanned aerial vehicles as a decision nears on a batch of smaller-scale UAVs. The Skylark 1LE from Elbit Systems has emerged as the favorite, according to Infodefensa.com. One of the advantages of the Skylark is that its optical and tracking systems can be used to target Spike anti-tank missiles, currently the backbone of the Army's anti-armor arsenal. Infodefensa.com notes, however, that competitors are irked that one of the Army's requirements is that the mini-UAV must be compatible with the Hermes 900 heavy UAV, which Chile has acquired. The Navy is looking to replace a handful of support ships. A pair of 780-ton landing ships are due for replacement, and the Navy-owned Asmar shipyard is expected to be the builder. A new icebreaker is in longer-term plans. No timetable has been given for those projects. For the Air Force, multiple reports say a new TRS Ground Master 400 radar is being delivered next year.  The mobile 3-D radar, made by ThalesRaytheon, can detect aircraft at high and low altitudes and as far out as 470 km (nearly 300 miles).

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