This morning, the Minister of Defense, Jorge Taiana, presided over the signing of a new contract between INVAP S.E. and the Argentine Air Force (FAA, in Spanish) for the development and manufacture of the airborne POD ISR system, aimed at significantly increasing the FAA capabilities in its role of surveillance and control of our country’s aerospace. The agreement, which is financed with contributions from the National Defense Fund (FONDEF, in Spanish) seeks to promote the local development of this sensor system. It will be implemented in the IA-58 Pucará aircraft providing it with a new capacity for information gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance.
“I have a great satisfaction because we Argentines not only have an outstanding scientific and technological capability but also very valuable human resources. INVAP is an example of a successful company placing Argentina among the countries with state-of-the-art technology projects,” said Taiana, after being received in San Carlos de Bariloche by the Vice-governor of the Province of Río Negro, Alejandro Palmieri, INVAP’s General Manager, Vicente Campenni, and other authorities of the company.
“Today I see here the expansion of the successful work of an internationally recognized company, but also the synergy between a company that is a commercial enterprise and the extraordinary boost of the State, which has made it competitive both at the national and international level,” said the Minister, during his tour of different areas and buildings of the State-owned company currently celebrating its 45-year trajectory.
Concerning this joint project with the Air Force, the Minister remarked that it was possible thanks to FONDEF, and highlighted that “the work between the Air Force and INVAP is another example of the synergy we are creating between different structures; in this case, between a hi-tech company with great capacity and flexibility, and an Air Force that urgently needs to replace and recover its capabilities.”
This contract ratifies the close relation between the Ministry of Defense, through the Air Force on this occasion, and the State-owned company INVAP, who have been working together for years to strengthen the National Aerospace Surveillance and Control System (SINVICA, in Spanish), created by Decree No. 1407/2004. This relation also expresses itself through other ongoing initiatives with the Argentine Navy and Army, as well as with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
As regards the development of the POD ISR, since its inception in May 2020 the project was outlined in successive stages called Technological Evaluation Models (MET, in Spanish), which have proven to be very efficient for highly complex systems.
The present contract contemplates the development of an airborne SAR radar integrated in the POD (in the first stage, it will be a 318-liter fuel tank of the Pucará System adapted to its new function). It will include an electro-optical system, a mission system and a communication system, thus achieving a general system with operational capabilities and a new technological development of an active electronic scanning antenna (AESA) for the radar.
Among other applications, it is expected that the POD ISR will: permit the primary exploration and reconnaissance of surfaces from an airborne platform; contribute to Search and Rescue (SAR) tasks; increase the command, control and communication capabilities of the Air Force; provide subsidiary information to help with tasks such as border and Maritime Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance; and the intervention in emergencies and disasters.
During the visit, the Minister and his entourage talked with the personnel working at the buildings of the Engineering, Conventional Integration, and Satellite Integration, as well as those of the Hi-Tech Test Center (CEATSA, in Spanish) —a company created in 2010 as the result of an agreement between the Argentine Company for Satellite Solutions (ARSAT S.A.) and INVAP.
Also present were the Secretary of Research, Industrial Policy and Production for the Defense, Daniela Castro; the Secretary of Military Coordination in Emergencies, Inés Barboza Belistri; the Secretary of Security and Justice of the Province of Río Negro, Betiana Minor; the Manager of Defense, Security and Environment of INVAP, Darío Giussi; its Deputy General Manager, Carlos Montenegro; together with the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, Major General Juan Martín Paleo; and of the Air Force, Major Brigadier Xavier Julián Isaac.