Jan. 25 (UPI) -- 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 $15.5 million 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 $30 million 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.