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Missile Last updated: February, 2013

Between 1975 and 1995, Argentina built and then dismantled South America’s most advanced ballistic missile program. [1] Argentina first considered building an indigenous missile program in the 1970s amidst border disputes with Chile and the United Kingdom. By the mid-1980s Argentina’s missile program had outpaced its nearest regional rival Brazil, and had also begun to attract funding and other support from Egypt and Iraq. [2] By 1990, Argentina had produced numerous prototypes, but the country terminated its program just three years later in 1993. [3] The rapid rise and fall of the Argentinean program provides insight into how a country with little experience in rocketry might quickly organize and pursue an ambitious missile program; conversely, it demonstrates how international and domestic pressures can contribute to a missile program’s even more rapid demise.

Regional security concerns, national prestige, a technological rivalry with Brazil, and the availability of funding from Iraq all encouraged Argentina’s pursuit of indigenous missiles. [4] The breakdown of the funding arrangement and the emergence of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 1987 impeded the flow of expertise and cash into the program. [5] U.S. actions, including the transfer of computer and nuclear technologies in exchange for the termination of the program, coincided with the demise of the program in 1993. [6] In the two decades since, the emergence of greater regional cooperation in South America and technological partnerships with Brazil suggest that Argentina’s missile proliferation ambitions have not since rekindled. [7]

History

1976 to 1982: Condor-1 Takes Flight

In March 1976 the armed forces of Argentina executed a military coup, seizing power from President Isabel Perón. According to Owen Sirrs, Argentina’s military junta “probably first examined an indigenous missile program in 1977-1978” in response to “a border dispute with China, a simmering feud with the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands, and a rivalry with Brazil.” [8] Brazil and Argentina during this period jockeyed for symbolic leadership of South America, and while the risk of open war remained marginal, shared tense relations. Further, the two countries’ contest for regional supremacy included a race for nuclear technology and rocketry. [9] Thus the initiation of the Brazilian space program in the 1960s and its expansion during that time likely provoked Argentina into pursuing similarly prestigious technology. [10]  

In 1979, Argentina began to seriously embark on a missile program. Through the Swiss Consen group, Argentina contracted the German firm Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) to produce Condor-1, a single-stage missile capable of delivering a 400kg warhead over 150km. [11] Under the authority of Argentina’s Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina, or FAA), the Condor-1 came to involve a complex consortium of “unprecedented complexity,” with firms from West Germany, but also from Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, and Austria all contributing to pieces of the project. [12] Specifically, SNIA-Pbd (Italy) provided the motor, Sagem (France) provided guidance technology, and MAN (West Germany) and Saab-Scania (Sweden) provided launch technology. [13] By Janne Nolan’s account Condor-1 thus grew into one of several third-world missile consortia at least partially “fueled by illegal or quasi-legal transactions made through commercial firms or renegade governments.” [14] Work progressed at home as well, with the completion of a missile design and research center in Cordoba in 1981, and the design of the missile finalized in 1983. [15]

1982 to 1989: Defeat in the Falklands and Higher Ambitions

Argentina’s disastrous defeat to the United Kingdom in the 1982 Falklands War significantly changed the scale of its missile ambitions. First, military embargoes during the war added new urgency to developing a domestic missile program. When the conflict began, Argentina’s operational missile capability was comprised entirely of imported French Exocet missiles. [16] Early in the Falklands War, France placed a full embargo on arms and trade with Argentina, leaving Argentina with only five Exocets for the entire conflict. [17] Second, the war revealed the operational limitations of the FAA. Ill-prepared for overwater operations of more than 400 miles, the FAA proved incapable of preventing the British Navy from recapturing the Falklands. [18] Longer-range ground-based missiles offered the Argentinean military valuable combat options without the cost of having to develop and maintain more comprehensively trained air personnel and logistical infrastructure. The FAA thus decided to abandon the Condor-1 in favor of a missile capable of striking the Falklands from missile bases on the mainland. The Condor-2, a project to build a multi-stage missile capable of carrying a 500kg warhead over 1,000km, therefore offered Argentina a means of overcoming some of the shortcomings its armed forces encountered during the Falklands War. [19]  

Defeat delegitimized the military junta, leading to the election of President Raúl Alfonsín in 1983. [20] The return of civilian government increased the role that economic factors played in maintaining support for the missile program. Although the FAA retained jurisdiction over the missile program, Scott Tollefson notes that the civilian government viewed it as a magnet for Western European technology. [21] Further, the program attracted foreign cash to Argentina. Egypt and Iraq, who were engaged in a regional arms race with Israel and its Jericho-2 missile, viewed the Condor-2 project as an opportunity to gain more advanced missile technology capable of striking Israel and Tel Aviv without attracting international scrutiny. [22] Forming a three-party consortium, Iraq agreed to provide just over three-quarters of the funding for the project ($3 billion+), and Egypt would act as a middleman by exploiting its relationships with Washington. [23] According to William Burrows and Robert Windrem, Saudi Arabia also expressed support for a missile that could be fired on Israel or "revivalists" in Iran. [24] Argentina, for its part, would provide its European technology networks from Condor-1, would develop solid fuel technology for the Condor-2 missile, and would perform testing on the prototypes while hosting the program. [25]  

The Condor-2’s procurement network involved many of the same companies involved in the Condor-1. Signing initial contracts between 1982 and 1984, “over one hundred and fifty West European engineers and twenty firms” contributed expertise to Condor-2. [26] The Consen group (Switzerland) managed technical aspects of the program, while MMB (West Germany) provided guidance systems, integration, and simulation expertise, SNIA-Bpd (Italy) provided motors and guidance technology, Sagem (France) provided guidance and control systems, and MAN (West Germany) provided mobile launchers. [27] As work continued throughout the 1980s, the number of foreign companies increased. In 1984, the first U.S. firm became involved when Honeywell agreed to supply a report on fuel/air explosive warheads for ballistic missiles. [28] After finishing the Condor-2 production plant between 1983 and 1986 at Falda del Carmen (near Cordoba, Argentina), it was shipping Condor-2 frames to Egypt by 1989 and had manufactured 5 Condor-2 prototypes by 1990. [29]

1989 to 1993: Death of the Condor

Although the program on the ground moved forward, political factors both at home and abroad began to chip at the feasibility and appeal of the Condor-2 program, causing the complex network to slowly unravel. First, the cost outlook for the program changed significantly in the late 1980s. Iraq withdrew funding in 1989 – a date that corresponds with the end of the Iran-Iraq War and a dip in oil prices, both of which strained Iraqi resources. [30] Technical issues also caused the baseline costs of the project to rise. A dummy flight test in 1988 revealed substantial technical problems with the prototype. [31] Difficulties with the missile’s guidance system also would have required additional investment. [32] Without its Egyptian and Iraqi partners, Dinshaw Mistry estimates that continuing the program would have cost Argentina at least $6.6 billion. [33] The fiscal demands of the Condor-2 on the Argentinean government thus rose significantly at a time when the nation faced a serious economic crisis (by 1989, the inflation rate had hit 40% per month, and the country was $2.2 billion in arrears in payments on its $60 billion foreign debt). [34]

Concurrently, the Condor-2’s technology procurement network came under greater international scrutiny and began to fracture. In November 1982, the Reagan administration issued National Security Decision Directive 70 (NSDD-70) – an official U.S. policy to control the transfer of missile technologies worldwide. Throughout the decade the United States worked proactively to establish multilateral missile technology control agreements, and pressured Western European firms to withdraw from missile networks. [35] By 1987, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) – a voluntary agreement within the G-7 to control the transfer of equipment and technology used in developing and producing advanced ballistic missiles – came into being. [36] Because many of Argentina’s missile technology suppliers in France, Italy, and West Germany were now subject to the MTCR, the agreement in theory should have fragmented the Condor-2 procurement network. [37]

More importantly, the United States targeted the Condor-2 specifically, with Owen Sirrs noting that “no sooner was the ink dry on the MTCR than the United States set its sights on the Condor II program and its extensive network of foreign suppliers.” [38] Particularly alarming to the United States were the noticeable design similarities between the Condor-2 and the American Pershing-2 missile. Because several Western European contractors contributed to the Pershing-2, the United States feared that Argentina’s Western European procurement network might have become a conduit for American missile technology to Argentina, Egypt, and Iraq. Federal investigations began in 1986, and in 1988 U.S. authorities charged Egyptian-born Dr. Abdelkader Helmy with conspiracy to export missile materials in support of the Condor-2 program. [39] The fallout extended beyond the United States; in 1988, President Hosni Mubarak sacked Defense Minister Abdel Halim Abu Ghazala for his role in the smuggling of rocket materials, and in 1989, Egypt cut ties with the Condor program. [40] In 1991, Dr. Helmy pled guilty to the illegal export of 436 pounds of MX-4926, an ablative carbon composite fabric used to construct rocket nozzles. [41] Owen Sirrs concludes that the indictment of Helmy and his associates essentially “broke up the Condor II network.” [42]

Direct diplomatic pressure on Argentina also began in the 1980s. By 1988, the United States had begun directly requesting that Argentina terminate the Condor program. By 1989, signals from the top levels of Argentina’s government began to indicate that the Condor program might soon end. Shortly before Carlos Menem assumed the presidency in 1989, the Argentine newspaper La Nación reported that he intended to cancel the Condor missile project out of concerns that Argentina would be obligated to hand the technology over to Libya. [43] During a September 1989 visit to Washington that included a meeting with President George H. W. Bush, President Menem was told unequivocally that Argentina risked losing U.S. credits and funding if it did not halt its Condor program. [44] Although in internal debates many high-level officials and the FAA opposed bowing to U.S. pressure, President Menem would ultimately tell President Bush that the Condor program had been completely deactivated just a year later. [45]  

By 1990, the United States government began seeing tangible steps that President Menem was following through in terminating the program. [46] Soon after, Argentina began proposing concrete plans for removing the physical infrastructure for the program. In May 1991, the Argentine defense minister publicly announced that Argentina would dismantle or recycle all of the elements, parts, and components of the Condor-2. Over the next two years, Argentina shipped missile components to Spain for dismantlement, and subsequently to the United States. [47] After a period of attempting to devise peaceful uses for the facility and the hardware, including a site visit by U.S. officials to the once secret Falda del Carmen complex in 1993, and after initially hesitating to completely dismantle the plant, Argentina made the decision to transfer critical hardware to the United States for recycling and to tear down the plant in 1993. [48] Stepwise progress in destruction of the Condor program met with American transfer of advanced technology, including the retrofitting of aircraft and a memorandum of understanding signed on 12 February 1993 authorizing the sale of American “advanced computer equipment, nuclear technology, and aeronautical guidance systems” to Argentina. [49]

Fundamental changes in the perceived military utility and prestige associated with missile proliferation also surfaced at the turn of the decade. In 1989, Argentina and Brazil issued a Joint Declaration on Bilateral Cooperation on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, thereby relaxing some of the tensions between the two countries in regard to missile and space technologies. [50] Further, in May 1991 Argentina signaled an official transition away from seeking ballistic missiles, declaring that the Condor fomented global instability, damaged Argentina’s national prestige, and increased rather than decreased Argentina’s military vulnerability. Argentina also announced interest in joining the MTCR, and did so in 1993. [51]

Recent Developments and Current Status

Despite the fact that it was South America’s most advanced missile program in the 1980’s, Argentina’s Condor program was far from robust. At the time of the project’s termination, Argentina continued to encounter major problems with the prototype’s guidance and control systems, and the program ended without a single flight test of the missile. [52] Currently, Argentina has no ballistic missiles production capabilities. Although Jane’s Defense lists the Alacran (Scorpion) – a short-range offshoot of the Condor-1 program – in Argentina’s inventory, official Argentinean sources note that the Alacran never went into production. [53] In 2007, Argentina set the goal of bringing the country into the space age by developing space vehicles and launch services. A project for a light-payload satellite launch vehicle for domestic use and commercial purposes, the Tronador, is being developed under civilian leadership, reportedly with no involvement from the military or the Defense Ministry. [54]

Argentina also increasingly engages in technology partnerships with Brazil. Initiatives such as the 2011 proposal for a joint South American Space Agency, and Brazil’s 2011 announcement that it plans to retrofit dated Argentinean missiles, signal a reduced role for technological rivalry in rocketry in South America. [55]   

Sources:
[1] Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 76.
[2] Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993, pp. 255-278.
[3] Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993, pp. 255-278.
[4] Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993, pp. 255-278.
[5] Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006); and Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993, pp. 255-278.
[6] Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 78.
[7] See, for example, plans for Brazilian refurbishment of Argentinean missiles and proposals for a joint space agency: “Argentina propone a Brasil crear una agencia especial,” El Día (La Plata), 30 August 2011, available at www.eldia.com.ar, accessed 24 October 2011; and “Brasil y Argentina acuerdan reacondicionar misiles,” ANSA (Brasilia), 11 September 2011, available at www.ansa.it/ansalatina, accessed 24 October 2011.
[8] Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 172.
[9] René De La Pedraja, “The Argentine Air Force versus Britain in the Falkland Islands, 1982,” in Robin Higham and Stephen J. Harris, eds., Why Air Forces Fail: The Anatomy of Defeat, (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2006), pp. 227-260.  
[10] Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 80.
[11] Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 172.
[12] Janne Nolan, Trappings of Power: Ballistic Missiles in the Third World, (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1991), p. 53.
[13] Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993, p. 255.
[14] Janne Nolan, Trappings of Power: Ballistic Missiles in the Third World, (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1991), p. 19.
[15] Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 172-173.
[16] René De La Pedraja, “The Argentine Air Force versus Britain in the Falkland Islands, 1982,” in Robin Higham and Stephen J. Harris, eds., Why Air Forces Fail: The Anatomy of Defeat, (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2006), p. 235.  
[17] David George Boyce, The Falklands War, (Baskingstoke, UK : Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp. 12-13.
[18] Brigadier Horacio Mir Gonzalez, “An Argentinian airman in the South Atlantic,” in Stephen Badsey, Rob Havers, and Mark Grove eds., The Falklands Conflict Twenty Years On: Lessons for the Future (London: Routledge, 2004).
[19] Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 172.
[20] Luis Alberto Romero, A History of Argentina in the Twentieth Century, (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2002).  
[21] Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993, p. 256. After years of discord, the FAA transferred authority over the Argentinean space program to civilian authority in 1991, transferring the Condor program to civilian authority in 1992. Also, Scott Tollefson notes that the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 deprived Argentina of one of its most important trading partners and motivated President Menem’s move towards a “First World” foreign policy of seeking stronger ties with the United States and reinserting Argentina into the political West. The Condor-1 program would have put Argentina directly at odds with the United States under NSDD-70 at a time when it sought closer relations.  
[22] Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 173-174. For an estimate of the distances from Iraqi missile deployments and Tehran and Tel Aviv, see: “Conflict with Iraq: Key maps: Iraqi missile range,” BBC News, news.bbc.co.uk, accessed 12 July 2011.  
[23] For a breakdown of the funding arrangements for the Condor-2 between 1984 and 1981, see: Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 76. For a description of the organizational structure of the Condor-2 collaboration, see: Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 172-175.
[24] William E. Burrows and Robert Windrem, Critical Mass: The Dangerous Race for Superweapons in a Fragmenting World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), p. 470.
[25] Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 174-175.
[26] Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 75.
[27] Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 75; and Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 175.
[28] Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993, p. 260; and Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 176.
[29] For information on the construction of the Cordoba plant, see: Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 75.  For information on manufacture of missile frames and prototypes, see: Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993, p. 261.
[30] Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993, p. 261
[31] Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 76.
[32] Eduardo Barcelona and Julio Villalonga, Relaciones carnales: la verdadera historia de la construcción y destrucción del misil Cóndor II (Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1992), pp. 185-199. For indications of continued problems with Condor-2 guidance even when the program was terminated, see: Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993), p. 261.
[33] Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 76.
[34] Michael Llanos, “Menem inherits grim economic outlook; Argentina’s Presidential election,” The Times (London), 16 May 1989, available in LexisNexis Academic Universe, www.leixsneixs.com, accessed 22 July 2011.
[35] Nuclear Capable Missile Technology Transfer Policy, National Security Decision Directive Number 70 (Washington, D.C.: The White House, November 30, 1982).
[36] Wyn Q. Bowen, “U.S. Policy on ballistic Missile Proliferation: The MTCR’s First Decade (1987-1997)," The Nonproliferation Review Vol. 5, No. 1 (Fall 1997), pp. 21-39.
[37] Deborah A. Ozaga, “A Chronology of the Missile Technology Control Regime,” The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 1 No. 2 (Winter 1994), pp. 66-93. The emergence of the MTCR, however, was not without growing pains. In the fall of 1987, U.S. and British intelligence discovered that an Italian firm was supplying technology to the Condor project in violation of the MTCR, spurring a new drive to further strengthen the arrangement.  
[38] Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 180.
[39] “United States Assistance to Iraq’s Missile Program,” Congressional Record, (3 February 1992), p. H209-H214
[40] David B. Ottaway, “Egypt Drops Out of Missile Project; State Department Official Offers No Details on Iraqi Program,” Washington Post, 20 September 1989, available at LexisNexis Academic Universe, www.lexisnexis.com, accessed 27 October 2011.
[41] United States of America v. Abdelkader Helmy, 951 F.2d 988 (9th Cir. 1991).
[42] Owen Sirrs, Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East, (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 186.
[43] Specifically, La Nación reported that upon realizing that arrangements with Libyan leader Mu’ammar Qadhafi to exchange Condor missiles for campaign funds had matured, President Menem became convinced that Argentina must terminate the Condor missile program, stating to Argentinean foreign minister Domingo Cavallo, “It seems that the guys sold Qadhafi the Cóndor in exchange for a campaign contribution. How irresponsible!  …I’m definitely convinced that we have to terminate the project without delay.” See: Domingo Cavallo, El Peso De La Verdad: Un impulse a la transparencia en la Argentina de los 90, (Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1997).
[44] Eduardo Barcelona and Julio Villalonga, Relaciones carnales: la verdadera historia de la construcción y destrucción del misil Cóndor II (Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1992), pp. 185-199.
[45] Eduardo Barcelona and Julio Villalonga, Relaciones carnales: la verdadera historia de la construcción y destrucción del misil Cóndor II (Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1992), pp. 185-199.
[46] Central Intelligence Agency, South American-Caribbean Division, Office of African and Latin American Analysis, “Memorandum: Status of Argentina’s Condor II Missile Program,” 27 November 1990, approved for release February 2005.
[47] Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), pp. 74-79
[48] For information on the U.S. visit to Falda del Carmen, see: “’Last’ Condor-2 missile parts to go to Spain in October,” EFE news agency (Madrid), available at LexisNexis Academic Universe, www.lexisnexis.com, accessed 27 October 2011. For information on the decisions to recycle critical components in the United States and to tear down the Falda del Carmen plant, see: Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategy, Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), pp. 74-79.
[49] For information on the agreement to retrofit Argentinean aircraft, see: Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993), p. 263. For information on the memorandum of understanding, see: U.S. Department of State, “Technology transfer: memorandum of understanding between the United States of America and Argentina, signed at Buenos Aires February 12, 1993,” (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1993).
[50] United Nations, International Agreements and Other Available Legal Documents Relevant to Space-Related Activities, (United Nations: Vienna, 1999).
[51] Deborah A. Ozaga, “A Chronology of the Missile Technology Control Regime,” The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 1 No. 2 (Winter 1994), pp. 71-72.
[52] For indications of continued problems with the Condor-2’s guidance and control systems until program termination, see: Scott D. Tollefson, “El Condor Pasa: The Demise of Argentina’s Ballistic Missile Program,” in William Potter and Harland Jencks, eds., The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993), p. 261.
[53] Duncan Lennox, ed., “Offensive Weapons Tables,” Jane's Strategic Weapons Systems 48 (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, 2008), p. 527; and Global Security, “Missile Programs – Argentina,” available at www.globalsecurity.org, accessed 27 October 2011.
[54] Daniel Gallo, "Probaron en secreto un cohete argentino", La Nación, 5 August 2007, www.lanacion.com.ar.
[55] “Argentina propone a Brasil crear una agencia especial,” El Día (La Plata), 30 August 2011, available at www.eldia.com.ar, accessed 24 October 2011; “Brasil y Argentina acuerdan reacondicionar misiles,” ANSA (Brasilia), 11 September 2011, available at www.ansa.it/ansalatina, accessed 24 October 2011.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.

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  • The first South American country to have a nuclear power program
  • Suspended and dismantled its medium-range ballistic missile program, code-named Condor
  • Produces 7% of its electricity from nuclear energy