Posted: Nov 8, 2021 14:16 GMT
The device just went into operation on October 27. The spokesman for the Presidency, Carlos Jijón, has already announced that he will be replaced.
In the early morning of Sunday, November 7, 2021, an explosion was recorded in the radar facilities that the Ecuadorian Government installed in October on the Montecristi hill, in the Manabí province, on the coast of the South American country, which aims to detect flights irregular, mainly aircraft used for drug trafficking.
“At the moment, a possible terrorist attack could not be ruled out“said the Ministry of National Defense through a statement, in which it reported the event.
In the text, he added that members of the Armed Forces and the National Police carry out the pertinent investigations “in order to collect data and clarify this event.”
The explosion was registered at approximately 03:00 in the morning. The roar was heard in several communes, neighborhoods and citadels of the Montecristi canton.
In the first instance, Pablo Ramírez, commander of Zone 4 of the National Police, confirmed that it was indeed an explosion on the radar and, in declarations to the portal, Information Manabí, said that apparently “it was a gear pump failure” Of the device.
Later, the Defense Minister, Luis Hernández, confirmed that there was damage to the radar and they were verifying what happened. The official, according to La República, attributed what happened to a dynamite attack.
While the authorities are still investigating to determine what caused the explosion, the spokesman for the Presidency, Carlos Jijón, has already announced that the affected device will be replaced.
“The government will promptly replace the radar and we hope that it will be operational as soon as possible,” Jijón said.
11 days of operation
The radar only became operational on October 27, with the purpose of controlling illegal air traffic in Manabí and part of the neighboring province of Santa Elena.
“As of today, the radar on the Montecristi hill, in Manabí, is already operational. I congratulate all who have made it possible for us to have control of the province in record time,” wrote then the president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso , in his Twitter account, while he pointed out that with the installation of this device “the story of handing over Ecuadorian territory to drug traffickers” ended.
According to the general commander of the Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE), Giovanny Espinel, the radar has a detection range of more than 220 miles (354 kilometers).
One day after starting operations, Espinel went to the Montecristi hill, with the accompaniment of the country’s media, to verify the operation of the radar.
Before the radar became operational, at the beginning of September, the FAE reported that in various cantons of Manabí some 40 lands with characteristics for the landing of light aircraft were discovered, which could be used as clandestine runways for drug trafficking.