by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) May 14, 2013
Germany has cancelled a planned 'Euro Hawk' drone programme fearing European authorities will not certify them, a defence ministry source said Tuesday after reported European safety concerns.
Germany had "no hope" of seeing the unmanned aircraft, part of a programme that would have cost more than one billion euros ($1.3 billion), approved for use, said the source speaking on condition of anonymity.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has said it would only certify the drones to fly over unpopulated areas because of a lack of an anti-collision system to protect airliners, according to German press reports.
"The equipment is not ready for approval without immense expenditure," the source added.
Germany has already spent 508 million euros on a Euro Hawk prototype and was due to fork out a further 500 million on four more models.
The Euro Hawk is a version of the American Global Hawk produced by Northrop Grumman and re-modelled by the European defence and aerospace company EADS.
Berlin has also already spent 40 million euros on modernising the northern Jagel air base where the reconnaissance drones would have been based.
Northrop Grumman also did not want to provide technical documents necessary for the certification process, German press reports said.
In 2011, one year later than planned, the prototype Euro Hawk arrived at the Manching base near Munich in southern Germany.
Germany is in talks with Israel on buying Heron TP drones but German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere has indicated that any purchase would not take place ahead of September 22 elections, according to news weekly Der Spiegel.
UAV News - Suppliers and Technology
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|