Germany’s plans for a costly drone project have come crashing down.
During a parliamentary debate, the German defence minister defended the controversial decision to pull the plug on the programme despite an investment of 508 million euros on the prototype.
Germany’s defence minister, who has come under fire since the announcement, was called on to provide a full explanation for the halt. Germany was due to fork out a further 500 million euros on four more models.
“We prefer to pull the plug. That applies to the future as well, when costs get out of control. Better an end with horror than a horror without end,” Defence Minister Thomas De Maiziere told parliament.
There are fears that the ‘Euro Hawk’, a version of the US Global Hawk drone, would violate European airspace regulations, and would not be approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The opposition claim De Maiziere was aware of the safety concerns 18 months ago, yet continued pouring money into the programme.
Germany is in talks with Israel on buying a Heron TP drone, but De Maiziere has indicated that there would be no further purchases ahead of Germany’s general election on September 22.