The Argentine Army presented Wednesday the first prototype of a locally assembled tank, Patagon, which is considered the first step towards creating a national defense procurement industry.
General Roberto Bendini, Commander in Chief of the Army said during the ceremony in a military barrack close to Buenos Aires City that "to dream with having military equipment manufactured locally, is not utopia".
The plan for the manufacturing of the VC SK 105 "Patagon" tank which will be assembled in Comodoro Rivadavia involves an initial outlay of 24 million US dollars for an initial 39 units.
General Bendini described the Patagon as one of the main achievements of the "national military procurement policy" which was announced in 2003, a few weeks after his naming as Commander by the then recently elected President Nestor Kirchner.
This is the first time in a quarter of a century that Argentina resumes the manufacturing or armored vehicles.
Labour and assembly installations for the tank will be provided by the Argentine Army while the actual supervision will be done by the Steyr industries from Austria, designers and manufacturers of the SK 105 model.