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25 Jan 17. 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 $15.5m 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 $30m 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. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/UPI)
25 Jan 17. Teledyne Gavia has released a new module that integrates Klein Marine Systems’ UUV-3500 high-resolution side scan sonar with a bathymetry sonar, the company announced on 23 January. Equipping the Gavia AUV with the survey-grade long range side scan creates a highly mobile survey platform with high quality side scan range and resolution. The swath bathymetry option allows for wide swath performance which is typically ten to twelve times the overall altitude of the AUV. The new module allows customers to have both side scan and swath bathymetry from a single module. The Gavia AUV can also be equipped with a camera and strobe system for close inspection of any targets identified by the sonar system. The system is designed for a range of missions, including geophysical survey, cable and pipeline inspection, environmental and under ice survey; as well as mine countermeasures, rapid environmental assessment and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. (Source: Shephard)
25 Jan 17. UK and US Strengthen Maritime Aviation Cooperation. Minister for Defense Procurement Harriett Baldwin today signed a P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) declaration with her United States counterpart, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work to further strengthen the uniquely close defense relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2019 the U.K. will receive delivery of its first Poseidon P-8A aircraft and both nations have committed to deepen their defense cooperation when operating in the North Atlantic region. Through seeking opportunities to share logistics and support bases and optimize the use of P-8A aircraft, particularly in Europe, the declaration should ensure increased value for money and operational effectiveness.
Minister for Defense Procurement Harriett Baldwin said, “The United States is our pre-eminent ally in global defense and collective security. This declaration is further evidence of how our two countries continue to cooperate and build mutual security, particularly in the North Atlantic region. Backed by a rising defense budget and a £178bn Equipment Plan, the P-8A program will provide us with enhanced surveillance capabilities.”
As leading members of NATO, the U.K. and U.S. are committed to the collective defense of each other and their allies. We have also pledged to deepen defense cooperation, bilaterally and within the alliance, to further improve the ability to operate together in exercises and operations.
The declaration provides a new opportunity to maximize value for money for the taxpayer and continue to strengthen U.K.-U.S. interoperability and to pursue efficiencies in operations and support, including at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, wher