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Germany to buy first armed drones
Photo: DPA

Germany to buy first armed drones

Published: 25 Jan 2013 08:54 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Jan 2013 08:54 GMT+01:00

The German government has for the first time declared its intention to buy armed drones, it was reported Friday. Up until now, the German military has only used unmanned aircraft for reconnaissance and spying.

The government has finally bowed to Bundeswehr demands to buy drones for foreign military mission, news magazine Der Spiegel reported.

In a response to an official information request issued by the socialist Left party and revealed to the magazine, the government said that armed unmanned aircraft were "absolutely necessary for protection in sudden changes in certain situations."

Unlike unarmed drones, the aircraft could "quickly and precisely mount scaleable attacks" on recognized targets. "As well as this, the capability would provide enemy forces with a constant and for them unpredictable threat that would limit their ability to act."

The drones would provide a "credible deterrent" to enemies, the statement said.

The use of even unarmed drones has already met considerable political opposition in Berlin.

While Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union and the centre-left Social Democratic Party both see the use of drones as acceptable, the Green party, The Left party and some members of the government's junior coalition partner the Free Democratic Party, all oppose the rapid expansion of drone warfare worldwide.

Many politicians fear that spy drones will also be used increasingly to monitor the German population.

"I am vehemently opposed to the Bundeswehr's drone strategy," Left party MP Andrej Hunko told the magazine. "I'm also critical of the expansion of the use of reconnaissance drones."

But the government statement insists that unmanned drones will be used "exclusively within the framework of their constitutionally-bound and mandated mission."

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:47 January 25, 2013 by raandy
I wonder if John Q public can get one of these , there's a few people i would like to deliver a greeting too.
22:21 January 25, 2013 by US-TommyBoy
Who in the world are the Germans going to attack?

I can see us Americans meddling in every one horse, whistlestop, oil rich, nuke bomb wannabe's and corrupt murdering states in the world, but that does not mean that Germany should waste money to stoop to the United States level....unless we are just giving you guys these drones for fun.
10:14 January 26, 2013 by The-ex-pat
These are not the first that Germany has bought. The last drones that the German armed forces bought are still sat in a hangar gathering dust as the LBA will not authorise pilot-less aircraft to be cruising around the German skies. So far they have only done taxi tests and bunny hops down the runway. As someone who is under the arm of the LBA, I can tell you that things do not move any faster than a snail with arthritis. I can't see these drones doing anything different than the first....................
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