Friday, June 19, 2009

New Artillery Battalion Being Equipped

Chile is buying from the U.S. two dozen M-109 self-propelled howitzers and support equipment to create a mechanized artillery battalion. The purchase also includes M557A2 command post vehicles, tracked logistics vehicles, thousands of shells (including rocket-assisted rounds) and a pair of Firefinder radars, which can pinpoint the location of incoming artillery shells. The deal is valued at $275 million, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Defense Industry Daily has some details on the equipment.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Army Names Camp After Pinochet Foe

Chile's army reopened a military base near Santiago earlier this month, naming it after a general who was assassinated by Gen. Augusto Pinochet's security forces. Gen. Carlos Prats was a loyalist of marxist president Salvador Allende and served in his administration. After the 1973 coup, Prats was exiled to Argentina. In September 1974, he and his wife were killed by a car bomb. The army's gesture is the latest effort to confront its bloody past. Gen. Oscar Izurieta is the third consecutive army chief to seek reconciliation.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Exocet Missiles to Get Land-Strike Capability

Chile's navy plans to upgrade its submarine-launched Exocet SM-39 missiles. The upgrade includes GPS navigation and technology that allows the anti-ship missiles to be used for land attacks, according to Jane's Defence Weekly. The missiles are being used in the navy's two Scorpene-class submarines.