LA PAZ – Bolivian Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira and his counterpart from Argentina, Agustin Rossi, met this weekend to discuss a military cooperation program that calls for Buenos Aires to supply advanced training planes, radar systems, rocket launchers and boats to La Paz.
The defense officials met on Saturday in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba, where they followed up on talks held in Buenos Aires on July 28, the ministers said in a statement.
The Argentine delegation did a presentation on defense cooperation, offering to provide Bolivia with IA-63 Pampa III training planes, boats, a CP30 127 mm rocket launcher system, portable 3D Band L radar and secondary radar units for air traffic control.
The ministers agreed to continue working on all the projects discussed in Cochabamba to move them forward.
Bolivia is interested in the Argentine radar systems and rocket launchers because they incorporate state-of-the-art technology, Ferreira told reporters.
“Surely, in terms of the budget we’ll have, we’ll be able to reach some agreements,” the Bolivian defense minister said.
Rossi, for his part, told the official Bolivian news agency ABI that the Argentine delegation did not travel to Bolivia “with a commercial spirit” but to “work on the idea of a strategic alliance between Argentina and Bolivia in the defense area.”
The ministers later met with President Evo Morales in Cochabamba.
Argentina and Bolivia are taking “an enormous step forward” in the defense area, Rossi told reporters following the meeting with the president.
Morales agrees that it is important to promote technological advances achieved in South America so the region can become more independent in terms of defense capabilities, Rossi said.
Bolivia and Argentina are working together to close the technology gap in the region’s defense industry, Rossi said.