The Colombian Ministry of Defense is preparing to develop the country’s first radar systems. The radar systems will monitor air and land traffic, officials said. The systems will be developed by the Corporation of Advanced Technology (CODALTEC). The company is owned by the Colombian Ministry of Defense. The radar systems will improve public safety and help security forces in their ongoing battle against organized crime groups, authorities said.
A team of 20 Colombian military engineers and police officers comprise the Research Group for the Development of Sensors and Radars (GIDS). The GIDS is developing the radar systems. When it is in place, the air radar will have a range of 45 kilometers, authorities said. The land radar will have a range of 12 kilometers.
Security forces will use the radar systems to detect suspicious aircraft and land vehicles. The radars will be deployed in sensitive areas – near oil pipelines, hydro-electricity stations and in battalions. They will also be used for civilian purposes, such as monitoring speed on roads and mining exploration. “Progress in science, technology and innovation contributes to the development of all societies,” Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón said. “The government is committed to finding better defense and security tools to ensure people’s safety across the country.”
Technological innovation in defense and security is becoming a larger part of Colombian industry. In addition to the radar projects, COLDATEC is scheduled to present Markab, the country’s first military simulator manufactured in Colombia, in January of 2014. The Markab simulator allows security forces to operate the military vehicle ASV M1117, which is known as Pegaso. This is a “milestone” that shows how the Armed Forces are working to modernize, creating skills and coming together to protect citizens, Pinzón said.
The Markab is a training tool for Colombian Army crews who drive the light armored vehicle. It enables soldiers to simulate military operations and learn how to identify and avoid risks. Markab was developed by a team of 24 engineers and 11 military officers. The simulator will improve crew training “without having to put the vehicle at risk,” said retired Gen. Julio González, the director of COLDATEC, according to published reports.
Colombia expects to receive 30 Pegaso armored vehicles in the coming months to add to the 39 purchased in 2008 and used by the Army since the start of 2011. The vehicles were purchased from the U.S. company Textro Marine & Land Systems. The vehicles have been used by military forces in Iraq and Bulgaria.