Renovation year for Bolivian Armed Forces
Bolivia’s Armed forces expect next year to renew their military hardware and “store away all the junk”, but also called on neighbouring countries “not to fear” Bolivian plans.
“We expect the Armed Forces to store away all their junk, recover equipment and modernize”, said Deputy Defence minister General Jose Luis Prudencio in an interview with La Paz main daily, La Razón.
“And we hope this does not lead to other countries to believe we are arming ourselves or become fearful of Bolivia or that we are involved in an arms race”.
The administration of President Evo Morales is in negotiations for a 100 million US dollars credit to finance the renewal of military equipment, including 35 million USD for a presidential aircraft.
Bolivia has been offered credit for military hardware purchases from Russia and Iran and is currently in the midst of talks to acquire six Chinese manufactured combat aircrafts, K8 Karakorum, mainly for border patrolling and drugs’ surveillance.
The last major renovation of military hardware in Bolivia dates back to 1980 when Bolivia purchased 30 Swiss tanks.
“We are working in renovating equipment, refurbishing, acquiring new military hardware, to try and have a more modern up to date force”, added General Prudencio.
Landlocked Bolivia is one of the poorest countries of South America.