Argentine Defense Minister Jorge Taiana presided over the entry into operation of an air surveillance and control radar in Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego. The equipment (model RPA -170M) was designed and built entirely in Argentina.
Taiana was joined by TdF Governor Gustavo Melella and high-ranking military officers.
The device, set in the Fuegian town of Cabo Domingo and developed through a joint effort from the Argentine Air Force and INVAP restores Argentina's capacity to monitor the air space with a projection over the South Atlantic islands and Argentina's Antarctica settlements.
The control system is part of the national radarization plan started in 2004, which foresees the deployment of equipment in Corrientes and Santa Fe in the coming months.
During his speech before Governor Melella, Rio Grande Mayor Martín Pérez, and the armed forces' top brass, Taiana once again addressed Argentina's claims over the Falklands, Georgias, and South Sandwich Islands: We are going to strengthen our presence throughout the country and fully exercise all the rights and duties imposed by sovereignty over our territory, our sea, and our airspace.
And he added: We are close to the territory occupied by a foreign power and today we are performing this act as an exercise of sovereignty, as an exercise of determination to comply with the provisions of our National Constitution to recover the Malvinas Islands using political and diplomatic means. This objective cannot be renounced.
According to specialists consulted by Infobae, when the radarization plan is more advanced, all continental, maritime, Antarctic, and island airspace will be under Argentine monitoring and control.
Tierra del Fuego | El ministro @JorgeTaiana participó de la inauguración en Río Grande de un radar para la vigilancia y control aeroespacial producido por @invapargentina.— Ministerio Defensa (@MindefArg) May 31, 2022
Se amplían así las capacidades para el monitoreo del atlántico sur y la Antártida. pic.twitter.com/yUz3AfHnWv
Governor Melella pointed out the significance of the event. Having an integrated naval base, which keeps growing, a standing presence of the Argentine army, and now with the Air Force, and the necessary equipment, this means that the government has a very clear and strong objective in Tierra del Fuego and in the South Atlantic.
The deployment of the RPA-170 radar is part of the Argentine Aerospace Vigilance and Control System, SINVICA, which took off in 2004 as part of a program to install radars along the country's borders. Apparently two more radars but RPA-200,manufactured in Argentina will also be deployed.
The RPA-170 is described as an air defense 3D tactical radar, with a medium range and totally manufactured in Bariloche, Rio Negro province. The RPA-170 can be quickly transported, deployed (less than 30 minutes) with a minimum crew, and is operational in the most adverse conditions.
Argentine Air Force (FAA) Chief of Staff Xavier Isaac highlighted the superlative value that the possibility of having been able to install the latest generation radar has for the strengthening of sovereignty in the south of the country.
The handling of the radar system will be under the responsibility of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces.