This morning, the Minister of Defense, Agustín Rossi, signed an agreement with the General Manager of INVAP S.E. (an Argentine state-owned applied research company), Héctor Otheguy, to modernize and restore the shipping system in the context of the Research and Development Progressive Program carried out by the Navy and the company. “The relation with INVAP has allowed Argentina to implement scientific and technological developments of its own. This agreement is part of a long-term public policy pursued by our government since 2003,” the Minister pointed out.
The two documents signed lay down the bases to modernize and increase the potency of four Meko 360 corvettes and two TR-1700 submarines, the “Santa Cruz” and the “San Juan”. “Both contracts amount to approximately 22 million Argentine pesos and will extend for another thirty years the lifetime of these two weapon systems,” Rossi said in San Carlos de Bariloche.
“Through the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Production for the Defense, headed by Santiago Rodríguez, we are working to strengthen this policy, that will enable us to narrow the technological gap between our country and the First World,” the official said. He also added: “These decisions reaffirm the autonomy and sovereignty of our country. They have to do with a model that has to be preserved with deep political convictions.”
The Minister, accompanied by the Chief of the Argentine Navy, Admiral Gastón Erice, toured INVAP’s facilities and congratulated the staff for their work in producing the first Argentine satellite, Arsat-1. At the same time, he regretted that “some important national politicians have made negative and anachronistic comments on our sovereignty. Undoubtedly, in order to enjoy a greater autonomy Argentina should focus on the scientific and technological development.”
Admiral Erice remarked that these agreements are “for the Army a transcendental forward step so foreign technology will be modernized by Argentinians. This will enable us to make our ships last longer with our own technology.”
On his part, Otheguy thanked “the national government for keeping on trusting INVAP,” and emphasized that “the relation of the company with the Navy and the Ministry of Defense has strengthened in the last years thanks to government leaders that trust in Argentinians’ gray matter.” “This favors job creation, encourages Argentine scientists to stay in their country and opens up the possibility of exporting,” he concluded.
It is important to remember that the Ministry of Defense and INVAP are already closely cooperating in technological projects, among which the manufacturing of radars for airspace control all over the country stands out.
Also present at the occasion were the Secretary of Science, Technology and Production for the Defense, Santiago Rodríguez, the local Mayor, María Eugenia Martini, and the National Senator Silvina García Larraburu.