April 29th, 2011 defensetech.org
So, the Libyan rebels are already meeting with major defense contractors. Officials from Italian defense giant Finmeccanica say they have met with representatives from the rebel movement to discuss buying helicopters along with border control and railroad technology. Wild. Apparently, the rebels plan on honoring millions of euros worth of conracts signed by the Gadhafi regime.
From Defense News:
Representatives of Libyan rebels fighting Col. Moammar Gadhafi have told Finmeccanica that they will honor the Italian firm’s Libyan contracts should they take over the country, a Finmeccanica official said.
Before civil conflict erupted in Libya in February, Finmeccanica was expecting to see between 250 million and 350 million euros in revenue this year from contracts signed with Gadhafi’s government, mainly covering border control systems, government service helicopters and civil transport.
The firm’s current backlog of orders from Libya stands at 800 million euros, 80 percent of which is related to transportation contracts, Finmeccanica has said.
“We have met with the interim government, and they have told us all present contracts would be confirmed,” said Finmeccanica CFO Alessandro Pansa, referring to the Benghazi-based rebels.
“They are interested in border control and railway systems,” he told analysts in a conference call April 28 to coincide with the release of Finmeccanica’s first-quarter results.
Finmac owns helicopter-maker AgustaWestland (who build the AW109 pictured above) and train-builder AnsaldoBreda, (you’ve probably taken a ride on their subway cars).