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Brazil to mordenise military: Lula

world Updated: Dec 20, 2008 12:10 IST

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Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has unveiled plans to modernise the country's armed forces and the defence industry, EFE news agency reported.

"Launching this plan means treating the armed forces as seriously as they deserve. It will serve to modernise equipment, armoured vehicles, ships and armament," Lula said at a ceremony in the presidential palace on Thursday.

"It will reorganise the three forces and restructure the defence industry," he added.

The Brazilian leader said the objective of the plan was to make the country's defence forces well-equipped, well-trained and make them ready for any kind of military response.

He also said the government was in talks with France and other countries for coordination and technical assistance in developing a nuclear powered submarine and strengthening the space programme of the country.

The plan also envisages revising the military policy by "reformulating" the the composition of the three services in order to "integrate the armed forces into Brazilian society," Lula said.

Brazil has the most powerful military in South America. However, its personnel are underpaid and government investment in modernising the forces has been very limited.