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GERMANY NEARING ARMED DRONE ORDER
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Click image for a larger picture

Heron TP the preferred choice

Source: IAI


Heron TP the preferred choice

Source: IAI


Close
BERLIN -- Reports indicate that Germany may be close to inking a contract that would see the country purchase its first weapons-capable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The preferred drone is the Israeli-designed Heron TP which would be produced by European aerospace firm Airbus under a deal estimated at €900 million ($1.1 million) which would include maintenance and training costs.

While Germany has been seeking an armed drone solution the topic itself is politically fraught in the pacifist society. Parliament is required to sign off on the procurement and under the terms offered by Airbus the deal will stand until May 31. This means that a vote in the legislative chamber will have to occur by around mid-May according to opposition parliamentarians.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has stressed the need to acquire the drones to support troops in out-of-theater operations, noting they are already operated by Germany's allies and such an acquisition would improve interoperability amongst coalition forces.

Germany already operates baseline Heron 1 UAVs leased from Rheinmetall Defence since October 28, 2009, as an interim solution for its long-term MALE requirement. That lease has continually been extended on two-year basis.

The proffered deal for Heron TP-variant drones would serve as an interim capability until 2025, when a new pan-European combat drone will come into service (this UAV concept is being undertaken in coordination by France, Germany, Italy, and Spain under a May 2015 agreement). According to reports in local German media the Defense Ministry appears to favor arming its Heron TPs with Israeli-made Jedi missiles as their warheads may be adjusted to minimize collateral damage.

Source:  Associated Press, Times of Israel
Associated URL: https://www.timesofisrael.com/germany-closing-in-on-deal-to-buy-1st-weapons-capable-israeli-designed-drone/
Source Date: April 14, 2018
Posted: 04/16/2018

 

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