July 25, 2008 / 6:35 PM / in 9 years

Chile buys its first EADS satellite for $70 mln

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SANTIAGO, July 25 (Reuters) - Chile's military said on Friday it has agreed to buy the country's first satellite from a division of European aerospace group EADS EAD.PA.

The $70 million system, set to enter service in 2010, will be used for border surveillance and military purposes, and to monitor weather conditions and collect information for industries such as fishing and forestry.

"Of 15 interested suppliers, nine were pre-selected. Of those, concrete proposals were received from seven, and after evaluation by a committee of civilian and military experts...EADS Astrium was selected," a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Both Brazil and neighboring Argentina have their own satellites.

Chile put the system out for tender early in 2007 after it decided in July 2006 not to buy a satellite observation system EADS was offering.

The system will be provided by EADS Astrium, the satellite manufacturing division of EADS. (Reporting by Monica Vargas, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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