Colombia: February 22, 2004


The government is buying about three dozen French made AMX-30 tanks from Spain for $170,000 each. New tanks normally cost several million dollars each. The tanks are second hand, Cold War surplus. The government wants to use the tanks to beef up highway security. The more paranoid say the tank purchase is for a confrontation with Venezuela. The AMX-30 is a 1950s design, weighing 36 tons and armed with a 105mm gun and 20mm gun (or 12.7mm machinegun) in the turret and a 7.62mm machine-gun on top of the turret. 


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