BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina’s army signed a $111 million contract with Israel to upgrade 74 tanks made in Argentina.

The deal to upgrade the Argentinian Medium Tanks, or TAM, was signed in Buenos Aires by Argentina’s Minister of Defense Agustin Rossi and Mishel Ben-Baruch, director of the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s International Defense Cooperation Division.

“This is an extremely important step, not only for the project but for the excellent relations between both countries. It’s also the beginning of a great friendship between the two ministries,” said Ben Baruch, who also praised the work done by Israeli and Argentinian technical teams to reach the agreement.

The agreement includes different tools designed to ensure that Argentina can develop its own technology and capabilities provided through co-production projects with Israel, and also human resources training and technical assistance to upgrade the tanks in Argentina.

Rossi said in a statement released by the Defense Department after last week’s signing, that the deal “is a strong boost” for the local defense industry and described it as “an investment of $111 million.”

“The modernization of the TAM is emblematic because it is a tank designed and made in Argentina,” said Santiago Rodríguez, the Defense Ministry’s secretary of Science, Technology and Defense Production. “The production line will be installed in our country, where locally manufactured components will be incorporated,” he added.