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Bolivia and France negotiate deal on radars and prospecting satellit

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World Aviation industry News - Bolivia & France
 
 
Bolivia and France negotiate deal on radars and prospecting satellit
 
Bolivia and France are negotiating an agreement for 10 French-made radars to monitor Bolivian airspace and a prospecting satellite, a top diplomat said Friday.
     
Bolivia and France are negotiating an agreement for 10 French-made radars to monitor Bolivian airspace and a prospecting satellite, a top diplomat said Friday.
Bolivian Air Force's K-8 Karakorum attack/trainer aircrafts
     

Speaking at an event marking the delivery of a French-built Super Puma helicopter to the Bolivian Air Force, France's interim ambassador to La Paz Jean Pierre Pauly said the radars would be used to combat the illegal drug trade, aid civilian air traffic control and bolster military security operations.

"We have a project with President Evo Morales for 10 radars to monitor above all Bolivia's airspace, and help the fight against drug trafficking," Pauly said in central Cochabamba department, where the event took place.

While Bolivia has six Chinese-made K-8 planes to intercept any aircraft that illegally enter its airspace, it lacks the radars needed to detect such violations, which often involve drug traffickers.

Vice Minister of Social Defense Felipe Caceres complained Monday that Bolivia "acquired the Chinese-made K-8 planes three years ago, but we can't operate them as long as we don't have the radars needed to detect clandestine aircraft."

Pauly said the French government and Morales were also discussing the provision of a prospecting satellite.

In April, Morales passed the Airspace Security and Defense Act, which authorizes the shooting down of "enemy" aircraft.