The head of state communicated to the airdrome of the city of Las Lomitas, in the Province of Formosa, to inaugurate together with its Governor, Gildo Insfrán, and the Minister of Defense, Agustín Rossi, the new 3D radar manufactured by INVAP S.E. (Argentine state-owned applied research company). The inauguration, carried out via videoconference, was presided over by the President from the city of Las Heras in the Province of Santa Cruz.
During the conversation with the President Cristina Fernández, Rossi emphasized the importance of the National System of Aerospace Surveillance and Control implemented by the former president Néstor Kirchner, in 2004. “In the past, there were four airports with radars and there are 26 today,” he said, and remarked that 95 percent of the air routes have radars.
The inaugurated radar has a range of 400 kilometers, and is part of a 7-radar production program that will be manufactured by INVAP. They will cover the whole northern frontier.
The Minister underlined that for the implementation of defense radars more than 1,000 million Argentine pesos were invested in the last years, and pointed out that “to choose Argentine scientific and technological designs is a source of sovereignty.”
The Secretary of Science, Technology and Production for the Defense, Gustavo Rodríguez, and the Vice-president of INVAP, Lic. Hugo Albani —who explained the characteristics of the new radar to the President— were also present at the ceremony. “This is just one example of what could be done thanks to the System of Aerospace Surveillance and Control, ” Albani said, and highlighted “the great job carried out by Argentine technicians and hundreds of companies that are working for the development of these technologies.”
The implementation of the National System of Meteorological Radars (SINARAME, in Spanish) —which produces medium and short term forecasts, predicts and monitors environmental contingencies such as hail or storms, guarantees sea and air navigation safety and provides basic data for scientific research— began in 2013 with a prototype radar installed at the airport of San Carlos de Bariloche, and is now towards the end of its trial stage with the installation of another radar in the city of Cordoba.
The final stage of the SINARAME system consists of building and installing 10 meteorological radars and 55 hydrometeorological stations in the whole country, with a 317 million Argentine pesos investment in addition to the 74 million invested in the pilot test, which represents a total investment of 391 million.
In turn, Minister Rossi, who travel to the Province of Formosa to attend the formal opening of the Air Control Center, explained that “we are setting up the first Northern Surveillance Station, which is already operating here at Las Lomitas. Today, we have here one of the three radars being delivered by INVAP and Military Industries (FM, in Spanish) to the Air Force. Another will be installed in the Province of Catamarca and the third one is operating at the Morón Air Base.”
Furthermore, the head of Defense stated that from the implementation of the National System of Aerospace Surveillance and Control (SINVICA, in Spanish), designed by Néstor Kirchner in 2004. Today, we have 95 percent of our air routes with radars, as part of an investment plan of over one billion Argentine pesos.”
In that regard, he further stated that “the fact that there are large investments in national scientific and technological designs is a source of sovereignty, and Argentina has the capacity today to have access to radar technology, which makes the country stand out from the rest.”
The RPA is a fundamental strategic tool for the country's defense, since it provides movement and location data for detection, surveillance, identification and control of the air space within a range of 400 kilometers. The agreement signed in 2007 between Military Industries and INVAP, the state-owned company of the Province of Río Negro, marked the beginning of the development of this technology in the country.
The Governor of Formosa, Gildo Insfrán; the Secretary of Science, Technology and Production for the Defense and head of FM, Santiago Rodríguez; the Head of the Argentine Air Force; Brigadier Mayor Mario Callejo and the Vice-President of INVAP, Lic. Hugo Albani all attended.