Friday, October 19, 2007

Navy's C-295 Aircraft Deal Confirmed

The navy agreed to acquire three C-295 maritime surveillance aircraft plus options for five more, EADS said in a press release. The deal is for one more plane than initial reports said (see the Sept. 15 post). The C-295s will be equipped with the Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS), which is capable of handling patrol, attack and other roles. One of those is anti-submarine warfare. At least one of the new planes won't be armed, but rather equipped for solely for patrol and search and rescue. The deal is valued at $120 million, including anti-ship missiles and torpedoes, reports said. Deliveries are set for 2009. The navy looked into upgrading its P-3 Orions, but the cost was too high. The cost of the deal was put at $120 million.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chile, Argentina Form Joint Peacekeeping Force

The defense ministers of Chile and Argentina announced Oct. 12 that the two countries forged a peacekeeping force to serve UN missions. The "Southern Cross" force will become operational in about a year. The combination is on a scale unprecedented for Latin America, and perhaps the world. Meanwhile, Argentina is acquiring designs from Chile's Asmar shipyard to build offshore patrol boats. Those plans are a modification of the Fassmer OPVs Asmar is building under licence from Abeking & Rasmussen of Germany. The news marks new milestones in an ongoing rapprochment between Chile and Argentina. Thirty year ago, the two nearly went to war over the Beagle Islands. But in recent years, both nations have solved border disputes, increased trade and tightened military ties.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

UAVs on the Shopping List

Procurement officials have been looking at UAV models for more than a year, according to the daily La Tercera. The report doesn't mention specific systems, but its sources indicated the unmanned aerial vehicles would be used for targeting and surveillance. The latter would be a peacetime role, too, giving the military a way to monitor the border. The review is due to end this year; there's no imminent request for proposals. Other items Chile is shopping for are transport planes for the air force (to replace C-130 Hercules), and the big one: the replacement of a dozen or so front-line fighters. The current squadron of F-5 Tiger III jets is due for retirement around 2015.