Why is the United Kingdom reinforcing its military in the Falklands?

The country invested more than 300 million dollars to protect its position in these islands

Why is the United Kingdom reinforcing its military in the Falklands?

Gavin Williamson, Minister of Defense of the United Kingdom, confirmed that his country invested more than 300 million dollars in an antimissile shield that will be located in the Falkland Islands. This week the British conducted tests of this shield in Sweden, very close to the Baltic Sea. The equipment used consists of the Common Antiaircraft Modular Missile, two vehicles supporting fire units and a launch vehicle, in a system called Land Ceptor. The reason for the development of this armament is the protection of the British troops against threats coming from the air, like airplanes and ammunition, affirmed Williamson.

Leer en español: ¿Por qué el Reino Unido se refuerza en las Malvinas?

Although the movements announced by the British in the Falklands have attracted attention, it is not really a change that responds to an imminent threat, but something that had been announced since 2015. The United Kingdom is renewing its security systems throughout the world. The company responsible for developing the Land Ceptor is the multinational MBDA, one of the largest weapons contractors in the world. One of its current purposes is the renewal of the British systems, which include, of course, the Falklands. Some of the current systems located on the islands date from the 1982 war, while the Rapier of 1990. The replacement is scheduled for the year 2020, so the tests are already underway.

The new equipment is destined to the Mount Pleasant military base, located 50 km from Stanley, the capital. Its response capacity is 20 minutes with great ability to adapt to ground conditions, being able to attack 8 positions consecutively. The Argentine government has not made any protest in this regard, alluding to the fact that it is a simple substitution of armament. The South American country has tried to improve its relations with the United Kingdom, which went through ups and downs during the Kirchner era. The government of Mauricio Macri tries to revive the Argentine economy at the international level, so he has come to the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to achieve it.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson visited Argentina a few days ago and expressed the support of his country to the aspirations of South Americans to join the OECD, an institution Colombia joined this week. Argentine relations with the IMF have been difficult in the last decade, so British support for negotiations is vital. However, Argentina has not relinquished its sovereignty over the islands that took them to war almost four decades ago. Both countries have decided to diplomatically freeze the issue, have achieved a kind of truce to deal with other important issues, so it is not surprising the mild reaction of Argentina to the movements announced by Europeans.

The United Reno maintains a strategic position in the islands and although it has not signaled a specific threat, the reality is that the recent events at global level have made reconsider their positions. They maintain a close collaboration in European security, in particular after the Brexit that is still in process, as well as with the Americans. However, the arrival of Trump, threats from North Korea, terrorism, migration and the latent tension with Russia and China have put on alert the British perception of international security.

Latin American Post | Luis Ángel Hernández Liborio

Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button