Monday, September 17, 2012

Bullet Points: Electronics, Aircraft, Special Forces

Rounding up some loose ends on Chile's Army, Navy and Air Force:
  • The Air Force's F-16 Block 50 fighter jets are getting an upgraded electronic warfare suite. The ALQ-211 Advanced Defensive Electronic Warfare System (AIDEWS), from ITT Exelis, is a next-generation integrated radar warning system. It alerts pilots about radar-based threats, namely surface to air and air to air missiles.
  • The Navy is ready to retire its fleet of  Cessna O-2A Skymaster airplanes. A request for proposals for a similar search and rescue aircraft is being put out next year. A piston-engine, long-endurance plane with easy maintenance is being sought. The venerable Skymaster harkens back to the Vietnam War. Chile acquired about 20 of them from U.S. surplus stockpiles in 1997-2000, although about half were used for spares and reserves.
  • The Army's special forces' equipment is looking much like their U.S. counterparts'. The standard assault rifle is the M4 carbine, with an Aimpoint sighting system. The standard sidearm is the Beretta PX4.

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