LA PAZ, Bolivia --- According to Bolivian Minister of Defense Javier Zavaleta, the country will begin testing new radar systems in the second half of 2018.
In order to improve air traffic control and to combat drug trafficking, Bolivia signed a contract worth €185 million ($198.8 million at the time) with Thales in November 2015. It covered 13 radar systems, including four air defense radars, one Star 2000 primary surveillance radar, two TRAC approach radars, and six RSM970 secondary radars.
The systems will provide services to both the military and the civilian air traffic control agency. A follow-on contract was signed with Thales in August 2016 for an Integrated Air Defense and Traffic Control System (SINDACTA in Spanish) to be located at the Chimore Airport. The radar control center brings the total contract value up to €191 million ($214.8 million at the time).
According to the Ministry of Defense, some radar systems have already been installed. It is these systems that will begin testing later this year. The MoD also reports that the overall program is proceeding to the planned schedule laid out with the signing of the contract in November 2015.