Is Croatian Interest in Argentine Border Control Radars Real or Just Politi-Speak?

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

TPS-43 air surveillance radar

An official Argentine government report indicates that during her visit to the country in mid-March, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and her counterpart, Argentine President Mauricio Macri, discussed defense electronics-related business among other topics. Reportedly, Grabar-Kitarović told Macri that her country might be interested in acquiring border control radars from prominent Argentine industrial and electronics giant INVAP.

The company recently signed a contract with the Argentine Air Force to modernize the force’s TPS-43 and MTPS-43 radars. INVAP is involved in several nuclear development projects in Latin America, and is certified by NASA to develop components for the U.S. space agency’s platforms. A defense contract between a Latin American company with such a strong pedigree and a European nation would be unusual, but not outside the realm of possibility.

At this time, no firm or semi-firm contract – or even a letter of intent – has been signed. Discussion of the potential radar procurement could be a routine, “pie-in-the-sky” discussion between political leaders, or it could indicate an actual defense requirement that the Croatian government will eventually pursue. Let us wait and see what happens.

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