> our title:

German DefMin Backs Euro Armed UAV

> original title:

German Defence Minister Backs 'European Armed Drone' (excerpt)

(Source: EurActiv Germany; published July 3, 2014)

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday (2 July) set out her position regarding the controversial issue of equipping German military forces with drones, and whether or not the latter should be armed.

The German military should receive drones, she said, but they can only be deployed with the approval of the German parliament.

Von der Leyen gave an interview to the Süddeutsche Zeitung where she said that if German troops were to be sent on a combat mission, the parliament could decide on whether or not to equip the drones with rockets.

With the mandate, the Bundestag has the opportunity "to make case-by-case decisions and also choose whether or not to arm the drone to protect deployed troops", the politician from Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) said.

The defence minister also spoke in favour of developing "a European armed drone".

NSA spying

"Once again, the NSA affair has made it clear to me what it means to lie dormant through 10 to 15 years of technological development and suddenly face the bitter reality of how dependent one is on others," the defence minister said.

She indicated that now is the time to search for partners in the project, which is expected to take at least a decade.

"Europe needs the capabilities of a reconnaissance drone so it is not permanently dependent on others", von der Leyen emphasised.

Technology for a reconnaissance drone, is not only beneficial for Europe from a military point of view but more importantly for civilian purposes, said von der Leyen. But she indicated no European partners can be found for the development of an unarmed drone. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the EurActiv website.