Saturday, November 15, 2014

What Chile's Military is Buying from the U.S.

Although Chile has little transparency in military expenditures, there are plenty of details publicly available from U.S. defense agencies that provide arms to allied nations. The database of the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency is particularly enlightening. It is packed with information about every request and delivery of surplus equipment sent to Chile in the past 20 years. The database is not complete, however. For example, it shows only one KC-135 tanker aircraft delivered to Chile, when in fact three have been transferred. It doesn't show the delivery of the former USS Higgins tanker ship. It's also unclear if the costs shown are actual figures because transfers often are made at discounted prices. Here are some of the most noteworthy items from the database:

  • Of 24 M109A5 self-propelled howitzers requested, half are shown as delivered.
  • Chile last year requested antennas and other equipment for the APG-66 radar (used in the F-16 fighter) but no deliveries are registered.
  • A total of 44 M163A2 Vulcan self-propelled anti-aircraft cannon and 66 M167A2 towed Vulcan systems were delivered in 1998.
  • A KC-130R Hercules tanker plane was sought in 2012 but not delivered.
  • Most transfers occurred in the 1990s, much less in the decades that followed.

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