Paris

Finmeccanica CEO calls for Italian and EU defense agenda

Pushes for European programme to develop drones

Finmeccanica CEO calls for Italian and EU defense agenda

Paris, June 17 - The chief executive of the Italian defence and transport conglomerate Finmeccanica on Monday called for new policies and vision on Italian and European levels to develop the domestic and continental defense industry. "We have confidence that our government is well aware and is working hard for a well-defined, serious Italian position" at December's summit of European Union defence ministers, said Alessandro Pansa at the Paris Air Show. Pansa also laid out a checklist of policies he feels the Italian government needs to define. "What will be our government's defense policy? The position of our government regarding industrial relations? And the position of the cabinet toward other major producers?" Pansa queried, adding, "a fourth thing - to what extent will we see European governments wanting to pool resources for defense technologies"? High on his own list, Pansa pointed to developing a European programme for the development of unmanned drones. Pansa said Finmeccanica's aerospace subsidiary Alenia "will do everything possible to develop" a European drone-development programme "but we cannot remain outside an important business for aerospace in the future". Pansa was making reference to Finmeccanica's joint effort with pan-European aeronautical company EADS - registered in the Netherlands - and French aerospace company Dassault, who have asked their respective governments to launch a joint programme for drone development.

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