Argentine Air Robotic System (SARA, in Spanish)
The SARA dated back to November 2010, in the context of the Ministry of Defense's Resolution No 1484, in which the need to supply the national defense with unmanned air systems for the surveillance and control of large air, land and sea spaces of the country was recognized. Even though the initiative was being developed with the Lipan system of the Argentine Army and other projects of the its Air Force and Navy, the SARA allowed the consolidation of the needs of the three Armed Forces in this field.
Thus, the SARA program was established with the aim of developing and manufacturing various types of unmanned air vehicles (VANT, in Spanish) that are able to carry payloads of different complexities and are sufficiently autonomous to comply with the operational requirements of this system. The program also takes into account the creation of control ground stations and portable units so the ground staff can receive information.
The Ministry of Defense, then, entrusted to INVAP S.E. (Argentine state-owned applied research company) the responsibility of the design and management of the SARA as well as its complete assemblage and its final validation and verification tests. National technological companies are involved in these processes, mainly national small and medium enterprises (PYMES, in Spanish), which are organized into a network comprising more than 40 subcontractors in charge of the manufacture of components and the subsystem supply.
The first VANT model developed by INVAP, VANT-MET 1 (technological evaluation model 1), —which will be followed by others more complex, among which the first operational prototype will be selected— has been successfully tested in August 2014, on the outskirts of Córdoba city. It was operated by technicians of the Army with proven experience driving this kind of vehicles.
The SARA also allowed to lay the foundations that would develop the System of Acquisition and Propagation of Images (SADI, in Spanish), an initiative of the Ministry of Security, the Argentine Army and INVAP, which signed an agreement in 2010 on designing and producing gyro-stabilized platforms with video cameras aimed at providing the aircrafts of the Security Forces and the Army with equipment.