Watching Panama: Finmeccanica Wins Integrated Surveillance Contract
Finmeccanica recently announced about EUR 180 million (about $234 million) in contracts from Panama to its subsidiaries SELEX Sistemi Integrati, AgustaWestland, and Telespazio. They will combine to offer Panama a one-stop cartography and coastal surveillance system.
Cartography seems trivial, but surveillance and control systems need to start with accurate mapping. Telespazio’s subsidiary Telespazio Argentina will provide the digital cartography for the whole country to the Tommy Guardia National Geographic Institute. With digitized cartography in place, SELEX Sistemi Integrati will integrate and install the coastal monitoring system, building on integrated coastal surveillance and border control work with Italy, Jordan, Libya, and others. The final element will involve 6 AW139 medium twin helicopters “in various configurations” for the Panamanian National Aeronaval Service.
The orders grew out of a June 2010 bilateral framework agreement for security collaboration around organized crime and drug-trafficking, signed at the SICA(trans. Central American Integration System) summit by Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli. Finmeccanica Chairman and CEO Pier Francesco Guarguaglini believes this contract will create a showpiece example for the Central and South American region. Contracts for comprehensive border surveillance and security systems are becoming more lucrative, and competitors like Thales, EADS, and Boeing are working hard to establish those beachheads.