German military wants armed drones to back soldiers

A US Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile stands on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport, Afghanistan. (File photo)

 Germany’s military elite has called upon the new grand coalition government to purchase armed unmanned aerial vehicles to provide support to German soldiers.

The German Armed Forces Association [Der Deutsche BundeswehrVerband (DBwV)], the German commander of NATO-led forces in the north of Afghanistan, Major General Jorg Vollmer, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Hellmut Konigshaus, have all backed the introduction of the drones to the German military.

Germany’s plans to buy armed drones ran into a snag when former Defense Minister, Thomas de Maziere, poured hundreds of millions of euros in the acquisition of EuroHawk drones to fulfill the country’s requirement to replace their aging Dassault-Breguet Atlantique electronic surveillance aircraft, but the aircraft were not allowed to fly in German airspace.

The EuroHawk drone is a variant of the RQ-4B) surveillance aircraft, with a customized sensor suite. The unmanned aerial vehicle has set an endurance record by flying continuously in the European airspace for 25.3 hours, reaching an altitude of 58,600 feet.

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