Argentina announced the successful launching of a missile booster, --identified as Gradicom PCX-2009-- in a firing range in the central province of Cordoba and said the event represented a “qualitative leap” for Argentine missile technology.
The announcement was done by Defence Minister Nilda Garré and Federal Planning and Infrastructure minister Julio De Vido, who anticipated that the test rocket booster would now begin to be produced by Fabricaciones Militares (Military hardware manufactures) both for domestic and overseas markets.
“The purpose of the test was the homologation of the rocket booster in flight which had already been accomplished at the Ballistics Test Bank belonging to CITEDEF, Centre for Scientific and Technologic Defence Research, located in Villa María, province of Córdoba.
According to the official Defence release the booster was entirely developed by Argentine scientists and engineers, to be used in missiles, rockets, long range artillery and other civilian and military uses.
The Gradicom engine is 2500 millimetres high, 320 mm in diameter and the rocket 4.45 metres tall and weights 500 kilos.
The head of CITIDEF engineer Eduardo Fabré said that the project “is an entirely Argentine construction made possible with the effort and support from Argentine scientists and engineers. It’s a vector of size and dimensions we are not used to, so it is in effect a great advance”.
Minister Garré said the achievement was a milestone and clearly in support of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s recent speech to the Army’s military academy where she reiterated Argentina’s determination to stimulate “national technology” particularly for defence purposes.
Only a few months ago CITIDEF successfully tested rocket PCX-2009, an Argentine version of Italian designed air defence missile Aspide. The trial was done from the frigate “ARA Argentina”.
Earlier this month Minister Garré also signed the final acquisition of Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina which is part of Fabrica Militar de Aviones, in Cordoba.
FMA was at the heart of Argentina’s air industry capabilities development which included the manufacture of Argentine designed turbine and jet aircrafts.
“This is an emblematic moment for the development of national defence and for the development of the province of Cordoba”, said Ms Garré at the time.