Argentina, Brazil eye joint project for nuclear submarine-Rest of World-World-The Times of India
Argentina, Brazil eye joint project for nuclear submarine
25 Feb 2008, 0851 hrs IST,AP
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BUENOS AIRES: Brazil and Argentina have agreed to work together to build a nuclear submarine, laying the groundwork for a South American defence industry, Argentina's media has reported.

Brazilian Defence Minister Nelson Jobim and his Argentine counterpart, Nilda Garre, discussed plans last week to form a bi-national company to construct the submarine and could convene a South American Defence Council in Brazil in October, Jobim said.

South American militaries are fundamentally "deterrent" rather than "expansionist," he said minutes before leaving Argentina on Sunday.

"But that deterrence power can only be exercised if there is behind it a regional military industry that makes us independent of foreign supplies," the newspaper quoted Jobim as saying.

A spokesman for Argentina's Defence Ministry had no comment on Sunday's report, and a spokesman for Brazil's Defence Ministry was unavailable.

The project to build Latin America's first nuclear submarine would combine Argentine experience crafting the sort of compact reactor that could power the vessel with Brazilian access to other necessary parts, including nuclear fuel, the reports said.

Jobim travelled to France in January to explore buying a Scorpene class diesel submarine that could be used as a model for the sub. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced USD 540 million in new funding for Brazil's nuclear sub and uranium enrichment programs last year.

Silva and Argentine President Cristina Fernandez agreed in a meeting last week to cooperate in enriching uranium for nuclear power and to consider building a shared reactor.
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