Author Topic: Finmeccanica sold equipment to Syria and call for drones program in EU  (Read 2348 times)

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Offline kimono

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Finmeccanica, the italian company who sold military equipment to Bachar al-Assad in now calling for a drones program in Europe, with 2 other french major companies Dassault and EADS who work with the french government.

Wikileaks/List of documents > Release How the Finmeccanica technology is helping the Syrian regime


Dassault, EADS, Finmeccanica Call for European Drone Program

PARIS — Three top European defense firms called Sunday on governments to launch a programme to manufacture drones that European countries are currently having to buy from Israel or the United States.

France's Dassault Aviation, European aerospace giant EADS and Italy's Finmeccanica said such a joint program would "support the capability needs of European armed forces while optimising the difficult budgetary situation through pooling of research and development funding.”

The firms said in a statement they were prepared to work together on the creation of a European MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) drone, which allows surveillance of vast areas over 24 hours. They declared their "readiness to coordinate on such a programme supporting the security needs of our European governments and armed forces."

The pledge to work together appeared to be a sign that Dassault and EADS were burying the hatchet after years of difficult relations, notably over MALE drones.

The drones, until now manufactured only by Israel and the United States, have been used in modern warfare, notably in Afghanistan and Mali.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said last week that Paris intended to buy 12 Reaper observation drones from the United States in a deal worth $894 million (€670 million).

He criticised the fact that the drones could not be manufactured and bought in Europe, saying that European countries need as many of 40 of the high-tech craft.

Last month, Germany scrapped a plan to buy four Euro Hawk unmanned surveillance drones, citing fears that aviation authorities would not certify them.

But the advantage of a joint European drive, the companies said, would be that "critical requirements around the certification of drones ... would inherently be built into the [program] from the onset.

"European sovereignty and independence in the management of information and intelligence would be guaranteed while at the same time delivering a robust system resilient against cyber attacks.”

Information obtained from drones currently passes through the United States or Israel as there is no "European" means of transmission.

Experts believe the market in drones is one of the few sectors in which the European aerospace industry can make inroads, given that the next generation of combat jets is not expected in the skies until 2030.

"Europe has lost at least 10 years" in this sector, EADS boss Tom Enders told reporters Thursday, adding: "The longer it takes, the more dominant the Americans and the Israelis will be."
"Les hommes qui ont vécu dans les laboratoires n'imaginent guère que les partis extrêmes" -
"Men who lived in the laboratories can hardly imagine anything else than extreme parties" (Louis Aragon, 1897-1982)


  • Guest
Finmeccanica, the italian company who sold military equipment to Bachar al-Assad in now calling for a drones program in Europe, with 2 other french major companies Dassault and EADS who work with the french government.

Wikileaks/List of documents > Release How the Finmeccanica technology is helping the Syrian regime

... It does many other things and it's perfectly normal such a company is involved in an event EU drone program ;)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Finmeccanica S.p.A. is an Italian conglomerate. Finmeccanica is the second largest industrial group and the largest of the hi-tech industrial groups based in Italy. It operates in seven sectors: aeronautics, helicopters, space, electronics, defence systems, energy, transportation and construction. The company has offices in over 100 countries. It is partially owned by the Italian government, which holds about 30% of Finmeccanica's shares.


The company was established in 1948 as a subholding for mechanical industry of state owned IRI. Finmeccanica has held for years some historic Italian enterprises, as Alfa Romeo, Aeritalia and Ansaldo; Finmeccanica presence in aerospace field was restricted to Aeritalia, the biggest airplane manufacturer of Italy.
From 1960s to 1980s Italy's defence and aerospace industry was split in different state-holding entities: so Efim owned the helicopters manufacturer Agusta, the defence company Oto Melara and the electronic enterprise Officine Galileo whereas STET (another IRI subsidiary) held Selenia, Elsag and SGS Thomson, all electronic enterprises with specializations in security and defense. In 1989 an internal IRI reorganization process brought STET electronic enterprises to Finmeccanica, that from Aeritalia-Selenia merger made up its aerospace subsidiary Alenia. In 1992 Efim wound up because of troubled financial situation; so Agusta, Oto Melara, Officine Galileo and Breda passed to Finmeccanica, which became one of the most important Italian industrial groups. Finmeccanica, which was previously fully state owned by IRI, went under a privatization process in 1993, when it was listed in Milan Borsa Italiana.
In 1992 Finmeccanica's Agusta became a 32% partner in NHIndustries, the prime contractor for NH90 helicopter, along with Eurocopter (62.5%) and Fokker (5.5%).
In July 2000 Finmeccanica and the British GKN plc agreed to merge their respective helicopter subsidiaries (Agusta and GKN-Westland Helicopters) to form AgustaWestland. On May 26, 2004 GKN confirmed that it would sell its share to its Finmeccanica for £1.06 billion.
In December 2001 the missile business of Alenia Marconi Systems (AMS), a joint Finmeccanica/BAE Systems company, was merged with other European missile manufacturers to form MBDA which thus became the world's second largest missile manufacturer.[4]
In July 2003 Finmeccanica and BAE Systems announced their intention to set up three joint venture companies, to be collectively known as Eurosystems. These companies would have pooled the avionics, C4ISTAR and communications businesses of the two companies.[5] However the difficulties of integrating the companies in this way led to a re-evaluation of the proposal; BAE's 2004 Annual Report states that "recognizing the complexity of the earlier proposed Eurosystems transaction with Finmeccanica we have moved to a simpler model". The main part of this deal was the dissolution of AMS and the establishment of SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems. In late March 2007 BAE Systems sold its 25% share of SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems to Finmeccanica for €400 million (approx. £270 million c. 2007).[6] SELEX S&AS now operates as SELEX Galileo following a merger with Galileo Avionica S.p.A. (another Finmeccanica company) in January 2008.
In May 2008 Finmeccanica announced its intention to purchase the U.S. defense contractor DRS Technologies for nearly $5.2 billion. On October 22, 2008, the sale of DRS Technologies was finalized.[7]
In 2011 the company faced accusations that it had created slush funds with which to bribe politicians and chairman Pier Francesco Guarguaglini came under investigation. He denied any wrongdoing but, following pressure from Prime Minister Mario Monti, he stepped down from his post on 1 December receiving a golden handshake of 4 million Euros.[1][2]
According to Finmeccanica emails published in the Syria Files release by WikiLeaks on 5 July 2012,[8] Finmeccanica increased its sale of mobile communications equipment to Syrian authorities during 2011, delivering 500 of these to the Damascus suburb Muadamia in May 2011,[9][10] after the Syrian uprising had started, and sending engineers to Damascus in February 2012 to provide training in using the communications equipment in helicopter terminals,[11] while the uprising continued.[12] Finmeccanica stated that the equipment sales were legal, they occurred "before the outbreak of conflict inside Syria", and the equipment "was designed for use by emergency responders" for civilian use only.[12]
It was reported on 12 February 2013 that the chief executive, Giuseppe Orsi, was arrested on corruption charges. Prosecutors allege he paid bribes to ensure the sale of 12 helicopters to the Indian government, when he was head of the group's AgustaWestland unit.[13][14]
On February 13rd 2013 Finmeccanica’s Board of Directors names Mr Alessandro Pansa Chief Executive Officer and resolves to confer the role of Vice Chairman to Admiral Guido Venturoni.[15]
Shortly after Pansa's appointment, Italian investigators discovered a case of bribery by Finmeccanica in its deal with India following which the government of India issued a show cause notice to the company. [16]
In July 2013, Finmeccanica shareholders approved Giovanni De Gennaro, Italy's former police chief, as chairman of the group.[17]


Alenia Aermacchi
ATR (50%, joint venture with EADS)
SuperJet International (51%, joint venture with Sukhoi)
Eurofighter GmbH (21%, joint venture with BAE Systems and EADS)
Global Military Aircraft Systems (50%, joint venture with L-3 Communications)
Neuron European UCAV program
Joint Strike Fighter program
NHIndustries (32%, joint venture with Eurocopter and Fokker)
Jiangxi Changhe-Agusta Helicopter (40%, joint venture with Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation)
Libyan Italian Advanced Technology (25%, joint venture with Libyan Company for Aviation Industry)
Telespazio (67%, joint venture with Thales Group)
Thales Alenia Space (33%, joint venture with Thales Group)
NGL Prime (30%, joint venture with EADS)
Defence and Security Electronics
DRS Technologies
Selex Electronic Systems
Eurotech (11%)
Defence Systems
Oto Melara
Whitehead Sistemi Subacquei
EuroTorp (24%, joint venture with DCNS and Thales Group)
MBDA (25%, joint venture with BAE Systems and EADS)
Eurosam (33%, joint venture with Thales Group)
EuroSysNav (50%, joint venture with DCNS)
Ansaldo Energia (54%)
Ansaldo STS (40%)
Engineering and construction



  • Guest
...By The Way while WikiLeaks pointed the finger against Finmeccanica selling technology to Syria, for affairs, Russia, North Korea, Iran and other nations sold WEAPONS to Assad and not technology only at the same moment, and US and UK trained terrorists to fight against it.

... I remember the very 1st news pointed out by WikiLeaks when Syria Files were out was "Finmeccanica sold technology to Assad" -this while Italy is collapsing under the economical crysis and other companies have sold much more than technology to Assad- with the risk of loosing more jobs and without directly pointing on any other company after the initial Syria Files enthusiasm.

Despite my high criticism toward Finmeccanica's help to the Assad Reelected government (2012 elections) that has seriously low human rights standards, at the light of the recent events with US trained terrorists fighting against Assad and other nation doing really worst Selling weapons to the Syrian govt or Syrian rebels - wich I guess was very well known even in 2012 as it is even on 2010 cablegate - I don't like to see a big corporation like that that offers jobs to hundreds Italians being always only associated to Assad even now it participates at a EU Drones program that has nothing to do with Assad.

BTW Finmeccanica is not alone cooperating at the program.

Offline kimono

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Yes, exactly: I wanted to show that there's a global european "effort" in selling war equipments, Italy is just a part of it. An objective article should resume the implication of all countries who sold these kind of equipments to Syria.

However, I think the Drone Program could hide something else: maybe an opportunity for european companies like Finmeccanica, Dassault, Eads, to initiate a future war in the Middle East.

I think the Drone program is not a good sign at all for peace and human rights.

"Les hommes qui ont vécu dans les laboratoires n'imaginent guère que les partis extrêmes" -
"Men who lived in the laboratories can hardly imagine anything else than extreme parties" (Louis Aragon, 1897-1982)


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If it's going to be used to bomb innocents like the US does in Pakistan absolutely not...

It may be also a defense project, we don't know...

Example: the Srebrenica massacre was discovered bcs a US spy drone took pictures of the ongoing crimes...

I mean all stays in How this technology is going to be used.

Also I thing All the govts using drones should lead parallel training programs to those that will use them: it's NOT a video game! you aren't a boy with a joystick killing the enemy: there are kids and families under the fire too, you can't just shoot and forget because you are far from home and don't see: they are lives, persons.

One thing I'm worried about is the De-Personalization created by the use of a drone.

Anyway, yes, let's watch from very near what they are doing now.

Offline kimono

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Companies who sell drones are always saying the same: "drones are not dangerous", "we are not going to use drones to kill"... "these are just surveillance drones"... "don't worry! believe what your government is telling to you"

but at the same time, we know it's not the truth

I don't think drones are a good thing. It's a war instrument, nothing else.

I agree with that tweet:

"#Drones have a negative impact on mutual desire of both countries to forge a cordial & cooperative relationship and to ensure peace- #Pak FO"

Drones are not for peace.

I won't change my mind, even if most of countries in the world are developing this technology.
"Les hommes qui ont vécu dans les laboratoires n'imaginent guère que les partis extrêmes" -
"Men who lived in the laboratories can hardly imagine anything else than extreme parties" (Louis Aragon, 1897-1982)


  • Guest
I think the same for nuke chemicals and all the other Abuses of technology used to kill individuals :(


hey btw Russia sold weapons to Syria ---> and Italy has strong business with Russia + Finmeccanica in detail has sold "non military" tech. to Russia -but we all know the difference between military & non is mainly the use done of the technology (eg. internet was military years ago) - here it looks for cars and similar stuff.   8)

WikiLeaks cable:

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ROME 001409
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/22/2019

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Barbara Leaf for Reasons 1.
4 (B) and (D)
¶1.  (SBU)  MFA officials view the December 3 summit between
PM Berlusconi, Russian President Medvedev and numerous
cabinet minsters a showcase for the bright future of
Italian-Russian relations.  Historically strong economic,
political and cultural ties between Italy and Russia were
reinforced by the signing of 8 intergovernmental agreements
and 10 contracts among private companies.  FM Frattini
stressed that Russia is an essential partner in guaranteeing
Europe's security and achieving international stability and
that Medvedev's European security proposals would be closely
studied by the GOI and other EU governments. At an
Italy-Russia Forum for Dialogue preceding the Summit,
journalists, academics, and political, business, and civil
society leaders discussed enhancing cultural, political and
economic cooperation. End summary.
--------------------------------------------- ---------
¶2.  (C) In the aftermath of the December 3 Russia-Italy
summit, MFA Russia Desk Political Advisor Fabio Cristiani
told us that the GOI had not begun to assess the Russian
Draft European Security treaty, the so-called Medvedev
proposals.  In his view, the era of Russian isolation is over
and it is inevitable that Russia will draw closer to Europe,
especially Italy, Germany and France.  He noted, however,
that it would be illogical to expect NATO to change according
to Russian expectations or conditions.  Cristiani questioned
whether Russia currently has the means to improve its
security structure or defense.  Commenting on Article 1 of
the Treaty, Cristiani said it seems directed at NATO and
implies that Russian security is inextricably linked to that
of all NATO countries.  While Article 8, in seeming
contradiction, suggests (paragraph 1) that Russia wants to be
protected from NATO; an apparent allusion to Russia's NATO
enlargement bugbear. In Cristiani's view, Paragraph 2 implies
Russia wants to condition NATO, but simultaneously be
protected by it, a plausible position given the dire state of
Russia's economy.  Cristiani noted that Berlusconi did not
discuss the draft security proposals in his meeting with
Medvedev, but he voiced his expectation the draft Treaty
would be a major focus of NATO, the EU, and the OSCE in the
coming year.
--------------------------------------------- --
¶3.  (C)  MFA Russia Desk Director Roberto Orlando told us
that the agreements signed between private sector companies
gained added importance by being concluded at an official
GOI-GOR summit and that while the Summit merely confirmed the
existing excellent state of GOI-GOR relations, the media
impact in Italy and Russia was significant.  He noted that in
Russia there were even complaints that too many ministers
were gone all at once.
¶4.  (C)  Stressing that he did not know details of the
agreements between private sector companies and ministries,
Orlando mentioned that Finmeccanica had signed an agreement
with the Russian Ministry of Transportation on implementing
(non-military) security in Russian firms
, and one on
producing cars for the St. Petersburg tram system. Italian
banks Intesa San Paolo and Mediobanca signed agreements with
Russian Vneshtorg Bank to develop SMEs and finance industrial
projects.  Alitalia-Aeroflot signed a codesharing agreement
in which Alitalia will support Aeroflot flights to South
America, while Aeroflot will do the same for Alitalia flights
to Asia.

¶5. (C) During the Summit, Eni,s CEO Paolo Scaroni and
Gazprom,s Chairman Alexey Miller also signed an agreement
for the formal entry of France,s EdF into the South Stream
gas project.  An Eni press statement said the agreement was
signed in the presence of Russian President Medvedev and
ROME 00001409  002 OF 003
Italian PM Berlusconi. At a separate December 10 meeting with
the Ambassador and DCM, Scaroni described it as an agreement
in principle. He said that the details over EdF,s
participation in South Stream, such as the percentage of its
participation and any additional conditions, will be worked
out in the next few months. Scaroni added that South Stream
will be a costly project and estimated that the Black Sea
portion of the pipeline alone will cost 14 billion (Note: It
was not clear if he meant Euros or Dollars). Nevertheless, he
indicated that despite the high cost Gazprom had the means of
financing South Stream. Scaroni explained that Gazprom
extracts gas at a cost of 5 Euros per cubic meter and sells
it in Europe for 200 Euros per cubic meter.  He said that
Gazprom will pay for South Stream with these gas profits.
Scaroni stated that EdF,s participation in South Stream was
the only agreement signed by Eni during the Italy-Russia
¶6.  (C)  An MOU between the Italian and Russian Justice
ministries outlined exchange activities, including GOI
assistance to Russia in fighting organized crime and
increased information sharing.  In preparation for
Italian-Russian Culture Year 2011, the ministers of culture
signed an agreement planning for exchanges, exhibitions and
promotion of Russian and Italian language study in each
country's schools and universities.  The agreement also
provided for mutual recognition of of university degrees and
qualifications.  Orlando noted that Russian Defense Minister
Serdyukov did not attend the Summit and that Italian Economy
and Finance Minister Tremonti was the only minister present
who did not sign an agreement with his Russian counterpart.
¶7.  (C)  A December 2 "Italy-Russia Forum for Dialogue"
convened Italian and Russian business, civil society, and
religious leaders, as well as journalists, academics, and two
Russian regional government leaders.  Three panels discussed
"Political cooperation in the common European space,"
"Economic cooperation and opportunities after the crisis" and
"Cultural cooperation."  FM Frattini introduced the political
cooperation panel; the economic presentations concluded with
remarks by Confindustria President Emma Marcegaglia, Economic
Development Minister Scajola and Russian Minister of Industry
and Commerce Khristenko.  Culture Minister Bondi and
Education Minister Gelmini addressed the cultural cooperation
panel which focused on the role of universities, media, and
the Churches in EU integration.
¶8.  (C)  Beginning his remarks by rhetorically asking why PM
Berlusconi expends so much energy on relations with Russia,
Frattini answered his own question the simplistic, mistaken
response was economic interests. Noting that the world was
becoming too Asia-Pacific oriented, Frattini characterized
Russia as an indispensable political interlocutor for
achieving international strategic stability and urged
Europeans to be more  "ambitious in inviting Russia to be
more ambitious." Frattini called on all 27 EU countries to
"coalesce around advancing an EU-Russian strategic agreement"
in the coming year and also to establish EU-Russia free trade
and visa-free zones.
¶9.  (C)  Frattini noted that the Obama administration's
"reset" of U.S.-Russia relations had opened a window of
opportunity which Italy strongly supported.  Furthermore,
NATO regards Russia as a partner, not an adversary, in
combating terrorism, meeting challenges in Afghanistan, and
convincing Iran to accept changes in its nuclear program.
¶10.  (C)  The Summit and Forum for Dialogue were given ample
media coverage, highlighting to the Italian and Russian
publics the strength of cooperation between the two
governments.  On the other hand, from what we know about the
agreements signed, many details of their implementation still
need to be worked out.  On Medvedev's draft security
ROME 00001409  003 OF 003
proposals, Italy is unlikely to form a position in favor of
or against any of them except in close consultation with its
NATO and EU colleagues.  Frattini has been careful to
underline that, however interesting or welcome, Russian
security proposals cannot supplant existing NATO and OSCE
structures.  End comment.

Source/ Full cable: