Argentina has celebrated its one hundred and sixty first independence day by unveiling two new additions to its military arsenal.
Argentina has celebrated its one hundred and sixty first independence day by unveiling two new additions to its military arsenal. Seen for the first time ??? public at the parade in Buenos Aires were a field gun and a rocket-launching tank developed by the army.
SYNOPSIS: Leaders of Argentina's military junta arrived in an open car to watch the parade on Saturday (9 July) after attending Mass at the City's Metropolitan Cathedral. For them the event was an act of public defiance following the decision by the united States earlier this year to reduce military assistance because of alleged violation of human rights. Argentina replied by rejecting all U.S. help.
The new tank was at the head of the parade and carried a passenger the commander of the country's First Army Crops, General Carlos Guillermo Suarez Mason. It's called the Medium Light tank and has a top speed of 44.6 mph (72 kilometres) an hour driven by a 600 horsepower diesel engine. The cannon has a range of 13.6 miles (22 kilometres).
Also on display was a smaller version of the new tank called the VCTP. Another new weapon, a 155 millimetre calibre field gun, which Argentina hopes to export along with other weapons appeared in the parade. The country began its policy of giving arms assistance to neighbouring countries in 1973 when General Juan Person returned to power. It has already supplied Paraguay with recoilless cannons, machine guns and automatic weapons. They've helped Bolivia to set up an air brigade and trained Uruguayans in anti-submarine warfare.
With decreasing help from the United States Argentina's military rulers have also looked to Europe for then arms supplies.
They've bought rocket-arms carrying frigates from Britain, Mirage planes and rockets, anti-tank guns from Wet Germany, light arms from Belgium and cannons from Switzerland. One main purpose of the parade was to show the Americans that Argentina can do without help from Washington.