INVAP has acquired a wide range of technological capacities along its more than 1000 succesfully completed projects. High complex project management and high standards of quality, inherited from the Nuclear and Space areas are now added to the new Information and Communication Technologies, giving birth to new product developments in Government, Security and Defense, such as primary and secondary radars for surveillance and air space control.
By 2003, commercial air traffic control in Argentina was carried out by secondary radars of different origin installed in Ezeiza, Córdoba, Mendoza, Mar del Plata and Paraná. This system was clearly insufficient, and led to flight restrictions and delays, difficulties that kept increasing as air traffic in the country continued to grow. Therefore, the national government decided to entrust INVAP to improve Air Traffic Control Services, in order to respect navigation rules, simultaneously providing a unified control of all air routes and terminals in the country.
In 2004, the National System of Air Surveillance and Control was created (Decree Nr. 1407); this system is intended to achieve the effective control of national air space both for all kind of civil activities as for military defense. The Decree included a second goal: to ensure the greatest possible participation of the national industry in its implementation.
With this goal in mind, the National Government requested INVAP the development, construction and installation of radars to meet the requirements of the new system. The company from the province of Rio Negro replied to this request with the Argentine Program of Radar Sensors Development, designed to centralize all national skills in this matter in order to develop and construct primary, secondary and meteorological "radar sensors" with state-of-the-art technology in the shortest possible time.
At present, said plan is in full development:
- First Argentine primary 3D radar - To be operational in 2011.
- Secondary radars (air traffic control) - Nine units installed up to date in Quilmes, Santa Rosa, Neuquén, Bariloche, Salta, Córdoba, San Luis, Tucumán and Bahía Blanca airports, to complete a network of 22 secondary radars in 2012.