Germany agrees to lease Israeli-made drones: manufacturer

June 14, 2018
A file photo taken on October 8, 2007 shows an Israeli Heron TP surveillance drone

Germany has agreed a nine year deal worth over half a billion dollars to lease Israeli military reconnaissance drones capable of carrying missiles, the aircraft's manufacturers said Thursday.

European aerospace giant Airbus, which signed the $600 million (500 million euro) agreement on behalf of the German defence ministry, will maintain and provide operational support for the Heron TP drones, Israel Aerospace Industries said.

An official from the state-owned Israeli firm, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the covered five drones.

The German military currently uses Israel's Heron 1 in Afghanistan and Mali, with the more advanced Heron TP drones expected to replace earlier models.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that the German parliament had approved the deal the previous day following the government's green light.

"It's a very large deal," Netanyahu said, "and that of course helps our defence industries and I think it helps security in Europe."

"It's a very, very good piece of news," he said at a security conference in Jerusalem.

IAI said the deal was pending German federal budgetary approval.

In 2016, then-German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen said the intention was to use the Israeli drones until a similar European model was operational.

Germany had considered buying Predator drones from the United States, but ultimately opted for the Heron TP, which German officials have said could be made available more quickly and would provide a smoother transition between models.

Explore further: 'Euro-drone' project gets lift-off to challenge US

Related Stories

'Euro-drone' project gets lift-off to challenge US

May 18, 2015

A European project to build a military drone by 2025 took wing on Monday as Germany, France and Italy signed a deal to start technical work and end their reliance on US- and Israeli-made models.

Israeli official says drones could replace planes

April 21, 2013

Israel's air force is on track to developing drones that within four to five decades would carry out nearly every battlefield operation executed today by piloted aircraft, a high-ranking Israeli officer told The Associated ...

US warned against Chinese takeover of German firm: report

October 26, 2016

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Printing microelectrode array sensors on gummi candy

June 22, 2018

Microelectrodes can be used for direct measurement of electrical signals in the brain or heart. These applications require soft materials, however. With existing methods, attaching electrodes to such materials poses significant ...

EU copyright law passes key hurdle

June 20, 2018

A highly disputed European copyright law that could force online platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay for links to news content passed a key hurdle in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.