BERLIN – The German Defence Ministry is evaluating a bid from Canada to purchase a high-altitude surveillance drone prototype that has been parked at a German air base for years after the cancellation of the Euro Hawk program in 2013.
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A ministry spokesman mentioned a proper bid had been obtained from Canada for the prototype, which was demilitarised by the U.S. army in 2017, however gave no particulars. The Canadian embassy in Berlin had no speedy remark.
NATO was additionally contemplating bidding for the drone, however had not but submitted it, based on sources aware of the method.
The drones could possibly be a part of a plan by Canada to higher monitor the Arctic. The federal authorities has introduced intentions to take a position thousands and thousands into its Arctic monitoring system as world powers more and more shift their consideration north.
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A sale of the drone would finish an embarrassing chapter that raised considerations in regards to the German army’s procurement course of and triggered the switch of former Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere to a different cupboard publish.
The German authorities advised lawmakers final 12 months that it had spent about 700 million euros ($793.5 million) on the Euro Hawk prototype constructed by U.S. arms maker Northrop Grumman and the ISIS surveillance system constructed by Airbus.
Berlin initiated plans in 2000 to purchase 5 Euro Hawk drones based mostly on Northrop’s World Hawk unmanned system at a price of about 1.2 billion euros however later canceled this system due to value overruns and issues acquiring certification to be used in civilian airspace in Germany.
It had solely obtained the one prototype plane that’s now being bought.
Berlin is now negotiating with Northrop to purchase a number of MQ-4C Triton drones for supply after 2025. Northrop final 12 months mentioned the method might take years to finish.Canad
German opposition lawmaker Andrej Hunko, a member of the unconventional Left get together, mentioned the German authorities had declared the plane incapable of flight after the U.S. Air Power eliminated key programs.
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“The airplane has salvage worth at greatest,” he advised Reuters.
“Any proceeds from the sale could be a drop within the bucket, in contrast with the massive quantities spent on this system.”
For NATO, the drone might present further help to the fleet of 5 high-altitude unmanned World Hawk planes it agreed to purchase from Northrop in 2012 for $1.7 billion, together with transportable floor stations.
Business officers mentioned the Euro Hawk saga highlighted issues in German army procurement, noting that NATO’s sister plane often traverse German air area to conduct surveillance missions over the North Sea. Additionally they don’t have any blanket approval to be used in German civilian airspace however use case-by-case permissions from air visitors authorities.
It was not instantly clear what steps could be wanted to return the German Euro Hawk prototype to flight. ($1 = zero.8821 euros)
— Reporting by Andrea Shalal Enhancing by Riham Alkousaa and David Goodman. With recordsdata from World Information.