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Helicopter Ambulances Arrive in Panama as Part of Finmeccanica Settlement

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More helicopters from Finmeccanica deal

Posted on January 5, 2017 in Panama

A boost for remote communities
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PANAMA  will be getting another two helicopters  as part of its settlement deal with the Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica.

The Cabinet Council authorized Panama’s ambassador to Italy, Fernando Berguido, to sign a contract with Selex, Agusta Westland and Telespazio ­ subsidiaries of Finmeccanica ­ for the acquisition of two AW­139M helicopters for 29 million euros, which is $30.4 million at the current exchange rate.

The authorization of the Cabinet Council is part of the follow­up of the termination agreement between Panama

and the Italian company. “The amount to be covered by this contract is the result

of a credit arising from the resolution of the agreement between Panama and Finmeccanica,” said the Department of State Communication.

Berguido indicated that the 29 million euros are part of the “recovery of dilapidated public assets,”

The agreement established that the credit in favor of Panama would be used “exclusively” for the acquisition of helicopters or any other equipment or service offered by Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries at the discretion of the Panamanian government. Reports La Prensa.

Minister of Public Security Alexis Bethancourt said that the helicopters will provide support to vulnerable communities.


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Leonardo gives Panama helicopters for canceled radar contract

By Ryan Maass   |   Jan. 25, 2017 at 12:55 PM
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Panama Embassy officials sign off on the delivery of two helicopters in Rome. Photo courtesy of the government of Panama

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Leonardo-Finmeccanica subsidiary AugustaWestland has agreed to supply Panama with two AW139M helicopters to repay a canceled radar contract.

The contract was signed by AugustaWestland's Daniele Romiti and Fernando Berguido, Panama's ambassador to Italy.

The helicopters, valued at roughly $15.5 million each, are militarized variants of AugustaWestland's AW139. The twin-engine rotorcraft features the largest passenger cabin in its class, and is fitted for homeland security operations.

Initially, the former government of Panama contracted the company to install new radar systems. However, the succeeding administration withdrew from the deal.

Upon canceling the contract, the government recovered over $30 million from the Selex ES, the company contracted to install the radars, in the form of a loan.

According to Panama's foreign relations ministry, the company will spend roughly 12 months manufacturing the aircraft, and fit the helicopters with bullet-proof reinforcement. The new agreement also includes three years of maintenance operations and pilot training services.


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New aircraft  replace botched radar deal

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Panama’s National Aeronaval Service (Senan), has taken delivery of three new aircraft acquired with funds recovered from the Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, after a botched contract for a failed radar system, negotiated by the Martinelli administration.

The current administration canceled the  2010 contract  for 19 installations and in February 2016   came  to an agreement  with  Finmeccanica S.p.A. (with its subsidiaries Selex, Agusta Westland and Telespazio, that gave President Juan Carlos Varela a photo-op as he handed over two AgustaWestland helicopters and one Twin Otter aircraft, intended for the fight against crime and for search and rescue operations, said Varela, in the official act that took place at the Lieutenant Octavio Rodríguez Garrido Air Base, located in Howard.



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