Algeria-Italy: “Towards Completion Of Deal For 7 Modern Helicopters From Leonardo In 2023”
The Algerian-Italian Bilateral Committee for Cooperation in the Defense Sector held its thirteenth session, last November 30, at the Guidoni Palace in the capital, Rome, which is the headquarters of the General Secretariat of Defense and the National Directorate of Armaments in Italy, followed by a visit to the production site of Leonardo Military Industries in Varese.
In this line, the secretariat of the Italian Ministry of Defense stated, in a statement carried by the “Formici” news website, that the proceedings of the joint committee was chaired by the Secretary General of Defense, Director General of National Armament, Luciano Portolano, and Mohamed Saleh Ben Bicha, Secretary General of the Algerian Ministry of National Defense, indicating that the meeting took place in an atmosphere of mutual satisfaction, and issues related to cooperation in the fields of equipment and supplies were dealt with, and the development of defense industry sectors was also discussed.
The same source pointed out that all the activities that were agreed upon during the previous sessions of the committee were completed, thanks to the continuous work of the bilateral working groups and also thanks to the cooperation shown by Italian industrial groups, such as Fin Cantieri, Leonardo and MB. D.A., Italy, and Etronica, and Rheinmetall, Italy.
General Portolano stressed the importance of Algeria as a strategic partner country on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, in relation to Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Strong and very important cooperation in several areas, including defense, he noted.
According to the same source, the Algerian delegation considered Italy to be a reference partner, especially with regard to military equipment, which is considered to be of high reliability, as well as the preparations of the military industrial sector of this country in starting cooperation that includes exchange, technology transfer, training and targeted training for crews and technicians working in Algeria.
The Algerian delegation discussed with interest, adds the statement, the completion of the agreements signed with the “Leonadro” company, which stipulate the acquisition of 7 AW-139 helicopters, explaining that the two sides expressed their intention to finalize this deal during the first semester of 2023.
During the meeting, they touched on a potential cooperation agreement between the Italian company “Fin Cantieri” for military industries and the Algerian marine workshop in Mers-el-Kebir, Oran, which aims to develop a program for maritime cooperation that allows the Algerian side to acquire know how and management techniques.
The Algerian party also expressed great interest, according to the statement, in the new AW-249 exploration and escort helicopter (NEES), produced by Leonardo.
The meeting ended, according to the statement, with the commitment of the two sides to pursue cooperation, as it identified among the goals of 2023 a series of meetings aimed at shoring up exchanges and cooperation between the two friendly countries.