Germany is planning to buy a dozen military drones over the next few years, according to Spiegel. The report said that Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere plans on buying as many as 16 drones, with five to be operational by 2016.
According to Spiegel, representatives of Germany's armed forces had already met with US and Israeli officials in order to discuss the possible purchase of Predator drones and Heron drones respectively. Washington seems to have already approved the buy. It is also reported that de Maiziere would reserve the right to arm German drones. The German government is expected to officially sign the deal at a cabinet meeting tomorrow, Wednesday.
The report of the drones’ purchase comes just two weeks after the German defense department announced that it had abandoned plans to build the high-altitude Euro Hawk reconnaissance drone due to the high cost of meeting standards required to win aviation approval. However, the German government had already provided half a billion euros in the program.
Finally, according to Spiegel, the German Defense Minister is expected to make comments on the matter in front of German parliament's Defense Committee on June 5, following the completion of a detailed report on the drone programme.