In the image, the Brazilian Defense Minister, Fernando Azevedo e Silva. . / Joédson Alves / Archive
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Sao Paulo, Sep 15 . .- Brazilian Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva reported this Tuesday that the country is finalizing the creation of a ballistic missile that will have a range of up to 300 kilometers and an accuracy of up to 30 meters.
The AV-TM 300 tactical cruise missile is in the « final phase of development » and will give the Brazilian Armed Forces a « very great deterrent power, » the minister told reporters at an event held in the city of Manaus, in the north of the country.
The creation of this projectile is part of the Astros 2020 project, launched in 2011 during Dilma Rousseff’s government and through which a loan of 45 million reais (today about 8.5 million dollars) was granted to acquire a new system of defense capable of launching such missiles.
« There is very little left for (the AV-TM 300 missile) to complement the rocket artillery of the Brazilian Army, which will give us a very great deterrent power, » said Azevedo e Silva, in statements collected by the state-run Brazil Agency.
The Defense Minister predicted that the first units could be delivered between 2021 and 2022.
The weapons are being developed by the Brazilian company Avibrás and will have the capacity to exceed the limits of the national territory. Currently, the Astros family of rockets consists of four models, but they have a shorter range that varies between 30 and 80 kilometers.
The main objective of the AV-TM 300, according to the minister, will be to discourage possible external threats.
On the other hand, the Astro 2020 project includes other initiatives to provide Brazil with « means capable of providing long-range fire support, with high foresight and lethality », in addition to the installation of an instruction center and administrative bases.
The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, leader of the Brazilian extreme right, is captain of the Army reserve and his government has a clear military tinge with around a third of the ministers with military origins.
According to the portal Power 360, cited by the Court of Accounts of Brazil, there are almost 3,000 members of the Armed Forces distributed among the three powers, of which more than 90% would be in executive positions.