Cuba has been upgrading its military equipment to defend itself against a possible US invasion since President Fidel Castro fell ill 13 months ago.

New agency AFP says senior officials told local media that weapons manufacturing facilities have increased production fourfold since 1998.

Weapons systems that have been upgraded include munitions, grenades, land mines and anti-tank rockets.

Chief coordinator of Cuba’s Military Industrial Firm (EMI) Lt Col Pascual Machado says the country’s military equipment is of vital importance.

“In the irregular combat we would face in Cuba in case of an invasion, the engineering, infantry and artillery systems we produce and repair here are of vital importance, because they’re designed for the aggressor’s direct assault,”he says.