QUITO, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's armed forces plan to buy warplanes, new radar and other equipment to beef up the country's capability of handling emergency problems, Defense Minister Javier Ponce said Wednesday.
Ponce said the government is buying multi-purpose light military jets, unmanned aircraft and new radar systems with the total investment of 400 million U.S. dollars.
Of the amount, 270 million dollars will be used to buy 24 Super Tucano planes made by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer. Other funds will be used to buy six Israeli-made unmanned aircraft and a batch of radar and telecommunications equipment.
The defense minister said Ecuador's armed forces also plan to buy air defense missiles and a netted radar system in batches; and to build three radar stations to create coverage for the whole country.
Ecuador has also bought two light frigates from Chile for 24 million dollars.
Ponce said he hopes Ecuador's neighbors would not worry about the military reinforcement, saying neither Colombia nor Chile are considered a national security threat.
According to the minister, Ecuador must protect itself from Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels and illegal drug traffickers on the border with Colombia.
Ecuador broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia following the latter's bombing raid on a FARC camp in Ecuadorian territory on March 1.