Germany’s armed forces need drones to fill a gap in their arsenal, Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said as he announced that the unmanned aerial vehicles will be developed with France.
Drones, which have been criticized in Germany for the collateral damage their weapons can cause, are no different from manned combat aircraft in legal, ethical and technical terms, de Maiziere said on the German government’s YouTube video channel on the Internet.
“An armed drone is superior to a manned aircraft in many areas” and is needed to protect German soldiers on the ground, de Maiziere said. “We have a gap in our abilities that we want to close.”
Bild-Zeitung reported on Jan. 26 that de Maiziere wants a system based on European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EAD)’s Talarion design. EADS said last year that it wasn’t continuing with its Talarion drone after failing to win government funding.
While France and the U.K. have moved forward with BAE Systems Plc (BA/) and Dassault Systemes SA (DSY) on designing a combat drone, progress on the Telemos surveillance system stalled after Francois Hollande became French president last year.
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